Vegan, Paleo, Raw, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Vegetarian?? Contrary to popular belief, these are not the most important considerations when it comes to what you’re eating. The most important consideration to take into account is best illustrated by a food continuum display:

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 10.31.20 AM

It breaks down into three simple general categories that make a clear distinction between what what we call “fake-food brand” processed foods, “natural-brand” processed foods, and “whole, fresh, natural” foods.

Why are these categories the most important?

Because an estimated 90% of food budget dollars in America today are spend on the processed, packed, fake-food brand items on the left; fake-food brand items that re not only processed to the degree that they’re devoid of most fiber, enzymes, and nutrients, but also contain toxic food additives that are actually harmful to the body. Most fake-food brand items are in fact not really food because they are harmful rather than nourishing to the body.

Ideally, we’d all be eating the whole, fresh, natural REAL foods pictured to the right all of the time – as all generations have done before us. But it’s unrealistic to thing that that’s going to happen any time soon. Doing so is too big a leap for those who have become accustomed to the convenience and taste of the fake foods, which is most everyone today. Some people, especially younger people, have never eaten anything else.

Make the Switch!

The best thing to do is to start moving in the direction of more real foods by switching from the fake-food brands to the natural-food brands in the middle. In fact, I believe it’s the least you can do for yourself and your family if you care about your health. Because NOT to do so is a sure recipe for dis-ease of every kind as we see increasingly happening throughout our country over the last few decades. Just from making this one simple change many people lose weight, eliminate countless conditions including depression, anxiety, digestive disturbances, seizures, migraines, ADD/ADHD, and more.

Why so so many people experience so many improvements in their health just by switching to natural-food brands? Because generally speaking, the natural-food brands have overall better quality ingredients and don’t contain the health-robbing, often toxic food additives found in the fake-food brands. And it’s surprisingly easy to do. Just switch out each of the fake-food items you buy regularly for the equivalent food item from a natural-food brand company. It’s that simple and easier than every before!

Natural-food brand processed foods are available at all health food stores and also at most big-chain grocery stores, often in sections labeled “natural” foods. Because they’re largely non-perishable, you can also purchase most online, which is a great way to start familiarizing yourself with what’s available as well.

Natural-Brand Processed Foods

Here’s a list of just some of the natural-brand food companies that offer much better choices for you and your family: Alta Dena, Amy’s, Annie’s Naturals, Arrowhead Mills, Barbara’s Bakery, Bearito’s, Bob’s Red Mill, Bragg’s Cascadian Farms, Eden Foods, Fantastic Foods, Garden of Eatin’, Hain, Health Valley Horizons, Imagine Foods, Kettle Chips, Knudsen’s, Lundberg Farms, Newman’s Own, Pamela’s, Seeds of Change, Shari’s Organic, Shelton’s, Spectrum Naturals, Westbrae.

Whole, Fresh, Natural – REAL Foods

Remember that even though the natural-brand foods are a much better choice, they’re still processed foods. Your best choice is always going to be the whole, fresh, natural foods. At the same time you’re making the switch to better quality processed foods, you can also start slowly adding in more fruits and vegetables, preferably organic. That’s the easiest place to begin when it comes to getting more real foods in your diet. Our psyches love when we focus on adding things into our lives.

Every time you shop just pick up 1-3 fruits and 1-3 vegetables that you already know you love – or at lease like or can tolerate. Fresh is always best, but do whatever you can at first to get started. Just be sure to check the labels for any unwanted additives if you’re going with canned or frozen.

Keep moving in the right direction – literally! – and you’ll have developed an ongoing eating-for-health lifestyle and be looking and feeling better and quicker than you think.

Contributed by Kelly Hayford, C.N.C.

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