The word “natural” has so many different meanings for so many different people, mostly based on how aware they are and their own understanding of what’s “healthy”.
With growing healthy FMCG markets and the growing awareness amongst consumers, every packaged product claims to be “all natural” or made with “natural” ingredients only in front of the jar or packet. But when you turn the jar around and read ingredients, you’ll know the true picture. Let’s get one thing straight. Natural means what’s available in nature and if we all agree to this definition then pretty much every packaged product available out there is not natural. In my opinion, natural is food that grows in the soil, that’s been nourished by water and gets its daily dose of sunshine to have a dense rich nutrition profile. That’s natural! And all of this we would find in the front isles of super markets and technically wouldn’t need a nutrition label.
When we eat food that’s natural, most of the times, (the 80/ 20 rule works best) we get a whole variety of vitamins minerals fibers and probiotics that our body instantly recognizes. This food is then used by our gut microbiome ( We have 100 trillion of them) as food so they can multiply and do us some solid like help us sleep better, manage our estrogen levels, poop better and also help us think clearly. Real natural food has more power than we already know. We are only as healthy as our Gut microbiome and our gut microbiome is only as diverse as the exposure we offer them through different foods.
We are mutually interdependent on each other, when we have a bowl of home cooked fresh bhindi made in ghee versus some vegetable chips from a packet that says “All natural” It has a very different impact on our gut microbiome and body. The natural bhindi made at home in ghee has far more nutrients that your gut will absorb compared to crispy vegetables that are baked or fried in “all natural’ sunflower oil. The latter will actually cause inflammation ad possible hormone issues ( if you eat too much ofcorse) because of the high amounts of Omega 6 fatty acid in them.
At Protein Bake shop, we don’t use the word natural because we add whey protein isolate that isn’t by any means natural but you’ll see a lot of brands out there that entice consumers by using the word natural or real but the label at the back says a whole different story. Protein bars are the most easy on the go snack but also the most easy way to load your body with a lot of chemicals. In order to get the 20 grams of protein in front of the pack you’re also consuming a whole lot of artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and maltitol that aren’t best for your gut microbiome plus the binding agents, glycerol humectants and soy lecithin etc all together seems like your liver and gut need to pay a price to help you build muscle.
It’s best to get your major macro nutrients like protein fat and carbs from real natural foods like lentils, eggs, meat, veggies and nuts and enjoy your healthy junk once in a while either in the form of a snack or a really yum comfort meal that hits the spot when you need it the most.
But let’s stop calling vegetable chips, protein bars, chocolate coated nuts natural food to ease our guilt around eating these foods. The food we eat has the power to heal us faster than we hurt ourselves with unhealthy food choices and lifestyle habits. Eating food with this intention will also help us automatically gravitate towards Real Natural good for us ingredients!