As a driver, or one who is traveling constantly, your main pitstops for food are ultimately a battle between real food vs processed. Most convenience food is just that, convenient. It comes in boxes and bags that doesn’t need a refrigerator and will not spoil easily. Or it is fried by a restaurant that pulls bags out of freezers and cooks by frying. Real food is harder to come by and usually takes some preparation for meals, which can be difficult stuck in a vehicle. It is also typically more expensive if eating at a restaurant than a drive-thru fast food place. But why don’t we look at what defines real food and processed food? Maybe we will get some insight on the two and do some analyzing.

Real food 

  • Doesn’t typically have a label and when it does it’s ingredients you can recognize and pronounce
  • Can be grown at home
  • Varies in shape and size
  • Has to be eaten, refrigerated, or frozen to not spoil
  • Does not need to be altered for consumption

Processed food

  • Has food labels
  • Unrecognizable ingredients on packaging
  • Made in factories
  • Made with a long shelf life, typically doesn’t spoil
  • Specialized ingredients from companies
  • Has to be consistent for mass production 

Real food breakdown

  • Has naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, fiber and water
  • Gives your body the ability to recognize the food as food and release important hormones while eating to signal fullness
  • Has the correct balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Empowers you to be a healthy weight and have less health problems

Processed food breakdown

  • Contributes to (or is directly responsible) food cravings, obesity, diseases and chronic issues
  • Typically has an imbalance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Contains almost no naturally occurring fiber, vitamins and minerals
  • Contains additives that are harmful to the body such as sodium and sugar
  • Is not recognized by the body as food and will not release hormones signaling feeling full 

Let’s be honest, processed food pulls you in. It’s easy to find, it’s cheap, and easy to take with you. But your body does not respond well to it. Real food makes your body thrive. As we continue, we will look at examples of real food instead of processed and how to put into practice eating real food so your body will thrive. But the first step is recognizing the difference between real food and processed!