That is an important question to ponder on. If it's possible to be overfed but undernourished, what does that mean? How can you be undernourished while having a full belly at the same time? Well, let's look at the types of foods available these days and compare them to what our great grandparents used to eat or even farther back before the Industrial Revolution which changed everything about the way food was made, packaged and sent across the world.
These days we have bleached and synthetically "enriched" white flour, bleached and processed white sugar, tens of thousands of different types of chemicals and food additives that help keep things from going bad on the shelf. They have treatments for fruits, meats, flours, cereals, canned foods, baked goods and more. But you know what has to happen to that food before it is able to be sent out and set on a self to be "shelf-stable"? The most vital nutrients that nourish your body must be removed in order to ensure the product doesn't go rancid before you buy it since most food must be stored, processed, packaged and then must travel more than 1,500 miles before it gets to your store.
What nutrients are removed to create a shelf-stable product (notice I did not say "food")? The fats and the fat soluble vitamins, of course! Those vitamins they remove with the fats are the ones you will usually see added back in later as synthetic additives they describe in a product as "Enriched with" or "Fortified with" Vitamin A, D, or E. These vitamins are easily destroyed in heat treated foods and once nourishing, natural fats and vitamins are removed from a food - for example, wheat flour - they add the man made version in later. The problem with that is the vitamins, in order to be properly and efficiently absorbed into your body, must be partnered with the fat it usually accompanies, otherwise your body has to work overtime to try and assimilate and utilize the unnatural vitamin causing waste and a lack of true nutrition.
The best, most nutritious foods that have all their natural fats partnered with fat soluble vitamins, heat sensitive enzymes that break down the food for your body to make digestion easier, and natural minerals ready for assimilation, must all be minimally processed and be able to naturally "go bad", having a food "go bad" means the enzymes, fats, bacteria and other good things within the food exist and are doing what they're supposed to be doing. A food that looks exactly the same in the wrapper as it did a year ago when you purchased it is not a nourishing food.
Empty foods that have been processed into sterile, nutritionally overly simplified and "fortified" with man made nutrients can certainly fill your belly, but our bodies are complex creations needing a large variety of things to thrive, including good bacteria and the vitamins and enzymes those beneficial bacteria produce, enzymes that breakdown the food we eat and deliver nutrients, natural vitamins partnered with fats that allow the body to utilize them, minerals that have already been digested and utilized by the food we eat are the best kinds of minerals to consume - instead of crushed up "rock" minerals.
If, for example, your children have grown up on boxed cereal with low fat, homogenized, ultra-pasteurized milk products, candy, chips, fast food kids meals, canned or boxed food and you struggle with cavities no matter how often you have them brush their teeth, you're more than likely struggling with the "overfed, undernourished" issue. Our teeth are like an early warning signal that can tell us how our bodies are really doing nutritionally. With a change of diet, you can dramatically improve mood swings, cavities, sleep quality, skin, hair and even mental focus, weight (whether that's being overweight or underweight), bone density and strength, tooth whiteness, and if started young enough, even the straightness of teeth and much more.
If you're new to the wholesome living lifestyle and want to learn more on how to transition your family from store bought, processed products to traditional, minimally processed, nutritionally dense food to help your family thrive, feel free to stop in our shop. We'll guide you through the process and get your family started on the right track!