Real food is whole, single-ingredient food. It is mostly unprocessed, free of chemical additives, and rich in nutrients. In essence, it's the type of food human beings ate exclusively for thousands of years. However, since processed foods became popular in the 20th century, the Western diet has shifted toward ready-to-eat meals. While processed foods are convenient, they also harm your health. In fact, following a diet based on real food may be one of the most important things you can do to maintain good health and a high quality of life.
Natural ingredients are ingredients in products that are from plants and animals (natural sources) and do not contain any man-made chemicals. They are integral for many people wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle. When you are in a rush or tired, it can quite difficult to focus on which ingredients are natural or not within a product. This is why it’s great to know if a product is fully natural straight away.
Natural ingredients are generally better for your health than non-natural ingredients, as they have more nutrients than the manufactured ingredients. Natural ingredients include fibre and vitamins such as vitamin c, magnesium and zinc, which artificial ingredients don’t have. This means that even though quantities of these natural ingredients may be small, you still receive some nutrients in comparison to man-made ingredients.
Synthetic food can have high sugar content and be processed. This means that most of the nutrients within that food have been destroyed. These nutrients are needed to have optimal health. Therefore if we consume too many artificial ingredients, you are replacing the nutrients that we need, with potentially harmful chemicals.
Natural food colouring (like the name suggests) comes from natural sources, such as plants and minerals. They are extracted through a physical and/or chemical reaction, which results in them becoming a liquid, powder, gel or paste.
However, most foods contain synthetic dyes instead of this natural food colouring. There are certain regulations put in place so that not too much of these dyes are added to products, as if eaten in excess could potentially cause some health implications.
Artificial food dye consumption has increased by 500% in the last 50 years, with children being the biggest consumers. The first artificial food dye was created in 1856 from coal tar.
Artificial dyes are often preferred as they produce a more vibrant colour.
Regulatory agencies, like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), have concluded that the dyes do not pose significant health risks.
Not everyone agrees with that conclusion. Interestingly, some food dyes are deemed safe in one country, but banned in another, making it extremely confusing to assess their safety.
A word about Aspartame
Aspartame (also known as ‘NutraSweet’ and ‘Equal’) is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners available on the market. However, many people have claimed that there are long term health complications from consuming it, even though there is no scientific consensus that it really is bad for you.
It is often used to replace sugars in diet foods such as diet fizzy drinks, reduced calorie fruit juice and ice cream, gum, and other sugarless foods.
It has been approved by the FDA, WHO, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, American Heart Association and American Dietetic Association. However, due to popular demand, many studies are currently underway in order to confirm the connection between the sweetener and certain ailments such as - cancer, seizures, ADHD and depression.
In summary, although the data is still remains unclear, our preference at ViDrate is always to avoid artificial sweeteners wherever possible.
The Benefits of Natural Foods
Having non-natural, man made synthetic food can have high sugar content and can be very processed meaning that most of its nutrients has been destroyed. It is important to have nutrients in foods, as this is what benefits your health. The benefits of nutrients are;
- Reduces the risks of many diseases e.g. heart, diabetes and some cancers
- Improves your recovery time from illnesses
- Increases energy levels
- Improves your ability to fight of illnesses
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Reduces high blood pressure
You need a certain amount of nutrients to have a sufficient level of health. You can get this nutrients when you have natural foods which all contains certain vitamins needed for your health. Natural foods/ ingredients can also affects your looks e.g. your skin.
So – What about ViDrate?
ViDrate includes only natural ingredients, contains no artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners. Our natural sweetener comes from Stevia, a plant-based sweetener.