Natural food as a term has an assortment of meanings and in several countries across the world, it has no official definition. Despite the fact that a number of packages in the grocery stores have “all natural” labels on them, what that means could differ by country or region. In the US, no legal definition is there for “natural” as found on food labels; as a result of this, the FDA or Food and Drug Administration actually encourages companies not to use those word choices.
There are quite a few consumers who may be of the view that natural food is always organic as well; however, that is certainly not the case. In addition, ‘natural’ could be interpreted as foods that are minimally processed or totally unprocessed. A lot of individuals who strive to buy natural foods only have resorted to not eat anything which lists ingredients that they are unable to pronounce.
In contrast to foods that are marked with ‘natural’ on the labels, products that have an organic certification normally have met strict requirements in order to get that label. A lot of governments standardize the processing and growth of organic foods, as a means of ensuring that only a minimal quantity of pesticides or other chemicals were utilized. Even though there are debates surrounding the nutritional value in organic foods, a study that was conducted by the University of California indicated that organic foods could have up to 20 to 30 percent increase in minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, iron and vitamin C.
From time to time, whole foods are referred to as natural foods. This category of foods is packaged as unprocessed as possible. Typically, salt, sweeteners or preservatives are avoided during the manufacturing of whole foods. According to the FDA, whole grains have to keep three vital ingredients and these are bran, endosperm and germ. Even though they frequently overlap, the terms whole foods and natural foods are not necessarily interchangeable.
A raw food diet is classified as a more radical edition of natural foods; this lifestyle entails eating only whole food and any food that is cooked over a particular temperature is avoided. It is their belief that heat destroys the nutritional value and the enzymes in the food.
Given that natural foods are yet to have an official definition, maybe it best to establish what natural foods mean to you as an individual prior to heading out to the store.