The Truth About “All Natural” Foods

Groceries

Written by Becki Andrus

In my last blog post, I talked about the deceiving messages that are found on pre-packed food items, and today we are going to go into a little more detail about foods that are marked as “All Natural.”

There are many products listed as “All Natural,” and companies use this term to improve sales… people don’t want to eat unnatural foods, right? So, extra money may be spent on products that are listed as “All Natural,” because people believe that these foods are better for their health.

Well, the truth is that when a label says “All Natural,” it actually has no nutritional meaning, and this packaging statement is not even regulated by the FDA!

These “All Natural” foods can have an assortment of unnatural (and unhealthy) ingredients added, such as MSG (monosodium glutamate). MSG can be listed on the ingredient label under many different names, and so it can be very hard to determine if it is actually an ingredient in the product. There are also many other unnatural things that could be added into the food.

For example, some products will list “All Natural” on the packaging because wheat was used… what they don’t tell you is that the wheat was completely pulverized in the processing and most of the health benefits were removed (such as the fiber, and 98% of the nutrients). Once the wheat has been milled down, it is common for the processing to bleach the wheat with chemicals, and then add synthetic vitamins (to replace the stripped-down nutrition), and call it “enriched” and “all natural.”

That doesn’t sound like an “all natural” process to me!

Basically, companies will list a product as all natural if the ingredients were grown in nature, but they don’t consider what happened to the ingredient after it was harvested. Many of the ingredients are completely ruined of their nutritional benefits after going through the processing, they are altered, modified, chemically treated, etc. Even though the ingredient started out natural, it is anything but natural by the time the packaging reaches the shelf at the grocery store.

Another example of an “all natural” ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. Sure, the original corn was grown in the ground, but the corn was put through a processing system that completely changed the ingredient into an unnatural product.

Remember, that the food industry is focused on money making, not your health. Don’t be fooled by the claims on the packaging, because they only appear to be healthy and often contain ingredients that are not good for your health.

Instead of spending your hard earned money on these “healthy” packaged foods, buy ingredients in their natural form and consume them as nature intended. If you choose to buy packaged foods, be a smart consumer and read the ingredient labels… and don’t buy the product if there are any ingredients that you wouldn’t have in your kitchen cupboards.

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Photo Credits: Mista Yuck

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