There are two ways to define “Real” food. The short and the long.
The short definition of “Real" Food is food that doesn’t have a Nutrition Facts label. If it has a label, something’s been done to the food. If it doesn’t, nothing’s been done, it’s “real”.
The long definition of “Real” Food is food that’s NOT “Processed” food. So what’s processed food?
There are seven criteria:
- Has to be mass produced
- Has to be consistent batch to batch
- Has to be consistent country to country
- Specialized ingredients from specialized companies
- Virtually all macronutrients are pre-frozen, which means that the fiber is usually removed
- Has to stay emulsified (fat and water don’t separate)
- Has to have long shelf-life or freezer life
Ultimately processed food has three things too little (taken away), and seven things too much (added):
- Omega-3 fatty acids (wild fish)
- Branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine)
- Omega-6 fatty acids (plant oils, polyunsaturates)
- Emulsifiers (polysorbate-80, carboxymethylcellulose)
- And the big kahuna, sugar!
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