Raw fruits and vegetables

How to Eat Real Food

Sometimes, it can be hard to find the energy to get through the day—especially with processed foods slowing you down. But you can eat real, unprocessed food if you know where to look! Real foods improve your health, manage your weight and give you plenty of energy to power through the summer heat.

What is real food?

Simply put, real food comes from the earth and can easily be traced back to its origin. These are items everyone’s grandparents would recognize—and often ate as staples in their family’s meals. They are foods such as...

  • Fruits from a plant or tree
  • Vegetables from the garden
  • Meats from the farmer or butcher
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Eggs

Real foods provide the nutrition our bodies require, without empty calories.

Real foods come from the earth.

Why eat real food?

Processed foods often appear to be healthy (with claims like low fat, low carb, vitamin fortified, no trans fat, contains omega-3s, etc.) when these foods are, in fact, the very thing making many Americans unhealthy. They also contain high amounts of salt, sugar or oil which lack the nutrients our bodies require. These empty calories leave us feeling unsatisfied and actually increase our hunger.

Real foods provide our bodies with the nourishment necessary to maintain healthy, active lives. Processed foods, although convenient, can leave us feeling unsatisfied and constantly searching for something that will fill that need. Take a little extra time to plan and cook meals and notice how well your body responds to real food!                                          

Eating real food reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke or cancer. Other benefits include…

  • Increased energy
  • Weight loss
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Regularity
  • An overall feeling of better health

Although making smart food choices can sometimes be more expensive, real food reduces your overall healthcare costs.

How to pick real food

Grocery stores and meals on the go can make food choices challenging. So here are some simple tips for incorporating real food in your lifestyle:

  • Eat mostly plants
  • Eat animals that have themselves eaten well
  • Shop the edges of the grocery store and stay out of the middle
  • Look for foods with five ingredients or less

How to get started

Ultimately, your food choices should fit your lifestyle and fuel you with energy. Talk to your primary care provider to help you make nutrition goals, learn new healthy habits and ask about meeting with a health coach.