After consuming a typical meal or snack, your stomach feels full, while your body craves nutrients. You see, chances are that meal was unhealthfully processed. An example of processed food would be a typical junk food like a Danish; you can’t just go out to your garden and pick a Danish off the vine, so therefore the Danish has been processed. White bread is less processed than a Danish, but still unhealthfully processed. You can go out to a field and harvest whole wheat berries, but when the fiber, most of the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and nutritional value is striped away when making white flour; when a token few synthetic vitamins and minerals are added back; when artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and unhealthful oils are added, you are definitely talking about a highly processed food! The same goes for white, refined sugar. Fresh whole fruit, on the other hand, which naturally contains sugar yet also contains a whole lot of nutrients (including fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar), is NOT a processed food. You get the idea. Processed food is food that has been drastically altered from its natural state. These fake foods distort your appetite too. It’s hard for you to exceed your caloric requirements with fruits and veggies because of the bulk and satiety you get from these foods, but over-eating unhealthfully processed foods like an entire bag of chips is no problem for some.
To further reduce their nutritional value most processed foods are cooked. When foods are overcooked much of their vitamins and minerals are damaged, or destroyed by heat, as well as their fiber. To make up for this, food manufacturers add nutrients & fiber back into the food, hence the term "enriched", except these added vitamins & minerals are replicated in a lab. I’m sure you’ve seen the long list of vitamins and minerals on an processed box of cereal or bag of bread. Adding individual vitamins or minerals can create imbalances with other nutritional factors in our body. The reason why nutrients are packaged the way they are in nature is because they require other nutrients in order to work properly in our body. That’s why they say to take your vitamins with food. Can you imagine how foreign a single vitamin tablet is to your body? They call these added vitamins and minerals supplements. Just think of the word “supplement”. You are “supplementing ” your diet with something you are not getting enough of through whole food. For people who do not eat well, supplements will not make up for that any better than “devoid of life” energy pills make up for lack of sleep. Despite all of the modern advances, the best source of nutrients by far is whole food! It’s always better to correct your diet, than to supplement it.