Fresh Food - Your questions answered
We hear you, after a busy day at work and an epic gym session, the last thing you're interested in is cooking fresh food from scratch. Why bother when micro-meals are easier, convenient and healthier than ever before? What's the point? Are there actually any health benefits of eating fresh? Or is it all just one big myth?
In this post, we answer your burning fresh food questions.
What is fresh food?
When we say ‘fresh food’ we are talking about single ingredients that are not frozen but are:
Rich in nutrients
Are minimally processed
Don’t hold any chemical additives
Why is fresh food important?
We believe that fresh is the best type of food to eat, and that belief is heavily backed by science. Investing in a fresh food diet is important because:
Fresh food is full of vitamins and nutrients that are key to optimal health
It could reduce blood sugar levels for those at risk of diabetes
It is lower in damaging sugar
Fresh food tends to be higher in fibre
It has lots of antioxidants that are beneficial to a healthy heart
It's great for your skin
And these are just some of the advantages. It’s easy to fall into a bit of a rabbit hole when researching the seemingly never-ending benefits of this type of food.
Is fresh food better for you?
As we've mentioned above, there are a multitude of benefits to eating fresh. That doesn't mean that processed food is the enemy, and actually, suppliers are doing a much better job at preserving the nutrients that were historically lost through processing methods.
But there are reasons why fresh is still better for you:
It could reduce those sugar cravings that drive us mad
It promotes dental health
Food choices, such as the Mediterranean diet, that are based on unprocessed foods can reduce disease risk
Is it ok to eat the same healthy food every day?
While there is nothing wrong with eating the same fresh food every day, you do run the risk of becoming bored. The more variety and options you have, the more enjoyable your meals, and the less likely you are to grab something not so good for you.
Luckily, these types of foods are incredibly versatile, so it's easy to change things up while still using the same vegetables. Try steaming, sauteing, roasting, air frying and, for some vegetables, eating them raw.
What are the disadvantages of fresh food?
Perhaps the most significant disadvantage of eating fresh is the price tag. They are notoriously more expensive than buying frozen, not to mention that they have a shorter shelf life which means additional trips to the shops, something that is less than ideal in the current climate.
Some ways to mitigate this is to buy and cook in bulk and freeze the foods yourself. That way, you have more control and won’t have to worry about the chemicals used to keep preserved foods fresh for longer.
For those out there who are green-fingered, growing fruit and vegetables in pots is an excellent way to have continual access to fresh food for a fraction of the cost.
Why is frozen food bad for you?
We've talked about the advantages of eating fresh and hinted at some of the disadvantages of buying processed foods. But is frozen food actually bad for you?
Many consider frozen food to hold less nutritional value than their fresh counterparts. Frozen fruit and vegetables may lose some of the vitamins they offer during the freezing process, but the majority of nutrients are maintained.
The main culprit behind what makes frozen food bad for you are the pre-prepared frozen meals available in supermarkets. These tend to be much higher in:
Therefore, frozen fruit and vegetables aren't considered to be 'bad for you', but processed, and pre-prepared frozen meals in shops can be a far less healthy option.
Why is fresh food better than processed food?
The problem isn't necessarily in buying processed foods; it's more about fresh food being a healthier option. All food, even fresh food, is processed to an extent (such as washing and cutting). So when we talk about 'processed; we are referring to those that are highly processed; the types that have added sodium, sugar and fat.
Our outlook on fresh vs processed food
As with all things in life, our mantra is 'everything in moderation'. We aren't saying that everyone should only eat whole, unprocessed and fresh meals all day every day. Instead, we are highlighting that there are more significant benefits in being aware of the additional additives in processed foods and using that knowledge to make healthy choices.
Of course, there will be days when you will want to grab a frozen meal, and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are choosing these foods more often than not, you could be missing out on some of the incredible benefits of eating fresh.
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