Nutrition 101: What Is Food and What is NOT Food?

I know this may seem like a crazy question, but it’s very relevant. The grocery claims to be full of food, but really, it isn’t. Let’s begin by looking at the actual definition of food then get back to my previous statement. Merriam-Webster defines food as

1a : material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy; also : such food together with supplementary substances (as minerals, vitamins, and    condiments) 
1b : inorganic substances absorbed by plants in gaseous form or in water solution
2: nutriment in solid form
3: something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies <food for thought>

Take note of 1a – it consists essentially of protein, carbohydrate and fat and it’s used to fuel an organism. Today we view food as anything we can put in our mouths and eat. Food is really something that grows out of the ground or was killed. It was once alive. It’s nutrients are natural. Processed food, or pre-packaged food, in many cases isn’t food by this definition. All of its “nutrients” were created in a lab and added in. Look at the list of ingredients on a package of macaroni and cheese. Can you pronounce half of that stuff? Well, your body has a difficult time processing it as well. To your body it’s a bunch of chemicals and your body sees it as toxins. The toxins are either cleaned out of the body or stored in the body’s fat. The more processed food you put in your body, the harder it is for your body to rid itself of it.

Not all packaged foods are bad…just read the labels. Look out for sodium, sugar and fat content. Also, there are no laws governing the use of the term “all natural”. READ THE LABEL! Organics do have to pass a set of standards and will usual carry a USDA certified organic label. READ THE LABEL. Learn the tricks food companies use to get you to buy their products. We can’t always get our hands on fresh foods. Some people travel alot. There are an increasing number of people who live in food desserts, a topic that will be discussed later. Limit your exposure to these chemical laden “foods” as much as possible and figure out how to get more of the good stuff in your diet. Juicing can be a great way to get your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables. Stick to the outside walls of the grocery store. This is where you will find produce, meat, dairy…i.e. things that used to be alive. You will notice the square footage dedicated to food in a grocery store is a fraction of what’s dedicated to processed foods.

I’m just keeping it new.


4 Thoughts to “Nutrition 101: What Is Food and What is NOT Food?”

  1. […] Carbs have gotten a bad reputation in the past 20 years because of their potential for high caloric content. Thus the rise of diets such as Atkins that sought to completely element this fuel source from a person’s diet. Much like anything there are good carbs and bad carbs. The issue with carbohydrate elimination diets is that you forgo the good foods such as unprocessed nuts, beans and fruits. These guys didn’t do anything wrong and in fact they provide essential macro- and micronutrients. The culprits in this scenario are the high-calorie processed foods with lots of extra calories that don’t provide fuel to the cells. The extra calories then get stored as fat along with any other additives the body doesn’t recognize as food. […]

  2. […] to tell people to eat better when their best option is fast food because they can’t afford real food especially given that half of Americans make less than $50k a year and of that one in four […]

  3. […] the idea is to stick with real food. Hunter-gatherers didn’t have processed foods only what naturally grew. Keep in mind that […]

  4. […] journey, but they are meant to help not do all of the work. We still have to go to crossfit, eat right and know our numbers. Black women are more likely than any other ethnic group to be overweight or […]

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