Does natural mean healthy?

Does natural really mean healthy? Nowadays natural it’s often deemed healthy and processed unhealthy.

Unfortunately this is probably one of the biggest misconceptions around food to date.

Although as a very basic rule less processed foods are healthier, with a little probing this rule quickly falls apart.

Extreme examples would be arsenic and mercury, both completely natural substances, yet both extremely poisonous. You wouldn’t think i’m going to make an avocado and mercury cake because its all natural.

Yet if I made a flapjack with virgin coconut oil, raw honey, oats, dried fruit, bananas, sliced almonds, cinnamon and vanilla pods it would be healthy because it’s all clean ingredients right?

Not exactly, per serving these flapjacks contains about 300 calories, the equivalent to 1.5 mars bars. If you made the above clean eating recipe and ate one flapjack per day. You’d consume 2100 calories extra per week, the same as 10 pints of beer.

When something is made of unprocessed ingredients, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s healthy or good for weight-loss.

In fact, I really hate it when so-called experts recommend recipes such as the one above. It frustrates me that some poor soul with go out, buy raw honey, virgin coconut oil and other expensive ingredients to make a healthy and slimming snack, really trying to do the right thing. Only to find they after 1-2 weeks they haven’t lost a single pound on the scales. Frustrated and confused they then give up.

It’s all about education

However, when properly educated on how to effortlessly cut calories the results would be very different. As we do at Renaissance Fitness, I would explain how simply using a lower fat cheese or fry-light instead of olive oil for cooking could reduce calorie intake 100-200 a day and lead to weight-loss.

I’d explain how things like low-fat natural yogurt has no added ingredients. Made with skimmed milk instead of whole milk low-fat natural yogurt is perfectly healthy food and great for weight-loss.

We’d also recommend eating more high protein foods whether processed like low-fat cheese and whey protein or unprocessed like eggs, lentils and lean meats. Next, we’d recommend more fruits and vegetables because this makes you feel fuller and naturally eat fewer calories.

Suddenly with simple small changes that don’t break the bank or cut out entire foods out weight-loss just seems to happen.

As you can see, although eating natural foods can be good for us. Recipes made from natural ingredients aren’t always good for weight-loss. If all the ingredients are a dense source of calories a recipe will still likely lead to weight-gain.

Whereas eating somewhat processed foods can actually be healthier and better for weight-loss if they are intelligent choices. Remember this doesn’t all processed foods are healthy, it just means processed foods can be healthy.