What Does “Natural” Mean?
In a short answer nothing. The term natural has no FDA guideline behind it. The information taken directly from their site states the following: “The FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”
So while the foods can’t include synthetic ingredients, they can be heavily processed, such as animals raised with antibiotics and growth hormones. High fructose syrup (sometimes referred to as corn sugar) is a natural substance, but producing it from raw corn requires a number of processing steps.
What Does “Organic” Mean?
According to the USDA there are three categories for the term organic:
100 percent organic –
Foods that don’t contain any non-organic ingredients can be labeled as “100 percent organic”.
Foods can be labeled simply “organic” if they contain 95 percent organic ingredients, and the other 5 percent does not contain growth hormones.
Made with organic ingredients –
Foods that have at least 70 percent organically produced ingredients can use the term “made with organic ingredients”. That’s right – up to 30 percent of the contents could be non-organic.
The Difference Between Healthy and Low Calorie Foods
Low calorie foods are often thought to be healthy, and people often assume the opposite is also true – that high-calorie foods are unhealthy. The amount of calories in food is not necessarily linked to how healthy that food is.
What does healthy actually mean?
Something that is healthy will help maintain or improve your physical or mental condition.
A food source that is healthy will have good short-term and long-term effects for your mind and/or body. Conversely, something that is unhealthy will have bad short-term and long-term effects for your mind or body.
Why high calorie foods can be thought to be unhealthy
There is a catch. Everyone is different, with different body types and activity levels requiring a different amount of energy each day, so a healthy amount of calories for one person may be an unhealthy amount of calories to consume for another person.
Being overweight with excessive body fat can have many long term health risks, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Therefore, you must eat a diet with a specific caloric intake that enables you to stay at a healthy weight for your body type. In this case low calorie foods and meals must be eaten in order to be healthy.
If you focus on eating whole foods most of the time, you should end up eating fewer calories without eating a smaller quantity of food. To get the maximum benefit, choose foods with low calorie density to allow yourself to increase food intake whilst reducing caloric intake. Overall, improving your food choices and eating better food for weight loss is a much more sustainable lifestyle choice than simply reducing the quantity of food you are eating.
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