Naturopathic Nutrition

Naturopaths place alot of emphasis on eating wholefoods rather than processed, ready made meals. Naturopaths & Nutritional health experts agree that wholefoods, cooked or prepared fresh and eaten immediately have a higher nutritonal content than' ready-meals' that are often cooked days or weeks earlier and have added preservatives to increase their shelf life.  Most 'ready-meals' tend to be  higher in saturated fat, salt and sugar.

Naturopaths advocate preparing and cooking your own food wherever possible from freshly bought, whole ingredients.  However we recognise that with today's busy modern lifestyle, it is not always possible to achieve this and that 'ready-meals' offer a convenient, quick solution. They key is to not rely on this sort of eating as your main source of nutrients but to use these as a back up when necessary. If you cannot @home cook' every day then perhaps try every other day.  Or home cook in batches and freeze ahead.  You will need to work with your lifestyle and personal/family schedule.

Naturopaths also put quite alot of emphasis on eating as many of our fruits and vegetables in their raw state wherever possible.  However certain vegetables do not taste good raw and are difficult to chew and digest so people prefer to cook them.

Types of Diets

Some Naturopaths and health experts follow particular diets such as Paleolithic ('Paleo) which avoid all grains, dairy, and processed food.  Others are strict vegan - avoid all animal sources incl meat, fish, dairy, eggs, vegetarian

With this in mind we have listed a hierarchy of food preparation methods to help you choose the most nutritious method wherever possible

Fresh raw fruits & vegetables - grow you own or picked locally, minimal transit - higher nutritional content *

Fresh raw fruit & vegetables - imported by airfreight - longer transit - some nutrients lost

Cooked Fruit & Vegetable - further nutrients lost by cooking (however some populations eg infants/elderly require these to be cooked to make chewing easier

Higher priced restaurants will use usually more fresh ingredients.  Always ask if unsure!

Frozen, raw food (Meat.FIsh, Fruit, Vegetables) which are defrosted and cooked at home.  Fruit/Veg frozen quickly after picking so can retain more nutrients than 'Fresh' which may have been sitting around on shelves for days

TInned Foods - long shelf life however high nutrient loss due to high temperatures and likely to contain added salt and sugar.

'Eating Out' - cheaper restaruants (fast food & 'chains' restaurants will tend to use more processed ingredients and less fresh.   There are exceptions to this with smaller 'chains' like Crush Cafe & Itsu who place emphasis on fresh, wholefoods.

Ready Meals/Takeaways - Processed/Mass produced and likely to have lost a lot of the nutritional content in the processing and have high levels of saturated fat, salt, sugar and preserves.  Recommend only occasionally. Once again there are exceptions with ready meals like M&S 'Balanced for You'

* Consuming Raw Foods

The amount of nutrient loss caused by cooking has encouraged some health-conscious consumers to eat more raw foods. In general, this is a positive step. However, cooking is also beneficial, because it kills potentially harmful microorganisms that are present in the food supply. In particular, poultry and ground meats (e.g. hamburger) should always be thoroughly cooked, and the surface of all fruits and vegetables should be carefully washed before eating. To learn more about preventing common food-borne diseases, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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