START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

What Is Real Food to You?

  • 1 of 2
What Is Real Food to You?

Real Food is what feeds and nourishes you. But, you might have your own definition of real food depending on what you want or need in your life. You may crave energy. You may want strength. You may need balance or healing. Some people would consider beauty or love essential food for their lives.

Real Food for me and for this particular article is food in its most natural state; it is unprocessed or undergoes minimal processing. Real food does not need a label or fancy packaging.  A lemon is a lemon. An onion is an onion. Real Food is whole food that is life sustaining.

Whole Foods: “Foods that have been minimally refined or processed, and are eaten in their natural state. In general nothing is removed from, or added to, the foodstuffs in preparation. Wholegrain cereal products are made by milling the complete grain.”

Our bodies were designed to digest real food. To me, the best real foods are in a special class called powerfoods.

Health Benefits of Real Food:

1. Full of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals to build and nourish the body.

If you research supplements carefully you will find that the better, more expensive supplements include a wider and more sophisticated array of ingredients. Manufacturers are actually trying to get the combination and chemical structure closer and closer to the whole food state. You might ask at some point: why not just eat the food?

2. No added fat.

Too much fat makes you fat. The high levels of fat added to processed foods and junk food is the ‘bad’ kind that has now been shown to increase heart disease and obesity. Real foods like nuts, on the other hand, do have fat in them, but it is often the ‘good kind’ that has been shown to actually help weight loss.

3. No added sugar.

White sugar (and similar high processed sugars) makes you fat, creates anxiety and depression, increases diabetes, causes heart problems, rots your teeth, and suppresses your immune system. Processed foods almost always have sugar added to them since companies know it is addictive, and they want you to eat as much as possible. Most real foods (except meat) have carbohydrates in them, but usually in lower quantities. Even when whole foods contain higher amounts of carbohydrates and sugars, like fruit, for example, the soluble fiber in real food slows down our bodies’ absorption of both. We call these smart carbs. Translation? You get energy, but without the problems that come with excess sugar and carbs!

4. No added salt.

To much salt is hard on the kidneys and creates high blood pressure. It ends up being one more toxin the body must deal with.

Real foods have minimal amount of naturally occurring sodium which is actually good for the body. Most processed foods have added salt to increase the flavor (even if it is very sweet) so you will eat more, and eat more often.

5. Real food looks, smells, and feels great.

I love strolling through the produce department of the supermarket or health food store. Seeing mountains of reds, greens, oranges, and yellows is not just a feast for my eyes, but for my nose as well. Even my body resonates with this offering of real food nourishment. I fill my shopping cart with these lively fruits and vegetables.

Going to the farmer’s market is even more fun! It is colorfully alive with tables filled with vibrant green lettuce, bright red tomatoes, cherries and apples, fuzzy peaches, yellow beans, sweet blueberries, juicy raspberries, and pickling cucumbers. Just thinking of all of this wonderful fresh food is making my mouth water.

Paying at the grocery store is not as much fun: waiting among lines of moms, teenagers, and businessmen with their carts piled high with packages and cans.

This picture is of me showing what I feel is real food compared to what real food is NOT. Click to watch the complete demonstration.

Next page: 7 Guidelines to Get a Real Food Program Going

  • 1 of 2

Read more: Eating for Health, Food, Raw

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).


+ add your own
10:07AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013


4:26AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

If its lived then mostly its good for you. If its got numbers on the label, then think twice and if you are still confused then return it to the shelf and learn the codes that are on packets etc.

Code free is good. vitamin packed is excellent. Smell and visuals tempt your taste buds.

if its looks real and you can identify what is is or where it began or what it was then usually its good.

10:44AM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

Thanks for the article, we eat a mainly raw food diet with the odd cooked food when we fancy it and try not to do that too often.We feel better for eating this way.We really notice the poor effect on our systems when we eat any thing processed.

11:47AM PDT on Apr 19, 2013

Thank you!

4:42PM PDT on Apr 17, 2013

Thanks for the article.

5:54AM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

Thank you Diana, for Sharing this!

6:45AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Thank you for sharing...

3:23AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013


1:43AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

I've never cared for all that junky, processed food either. I just don't understand how some people can live on it (adults, anyway).

11:50PM PDT on Apr 12, 2013

Loving it real :-) thank you

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

What about chocolate-coated garlic?

I love oysters, I'm a widow, so this doesn't interest me......why all the old articles?

Before my hot flash and hypothyroid days, I was diagnosed with severe life-threatening endometriosis…

Thanks for the info - I was not aware of this.

Thanx for the good info...will have to talk to my doctor.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!