What Do All the “Healthy” Food Descriptions Mean?

There are lots of different terms used with regard to so called “healthy” food and diets and these can lead to some confusion so here we’re trying to tell you in simple terms what each description means.

What does Vegan mean?

A Vegan does not:


  • Eat any animal products at all even eggs and dairy products
  • Wear animal products such as leather or wool

What does Vegetarian mean?

A Vegetarian does not eat red or white meat although some will eat fish and seafood; this does not make them a true Vegetarian, rather a Pescatarian.

What does Organic mean?

Organic vegetables and cereal crops are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilisers. It is also a system designed to sustain healthy soil and ecosystems. It relies on such practices as crop rotation to ensure the health and sustainability of the environment.

Organic meat is raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones and is fed on organic matter as described above.

Any farm or smallholding claiming to generate Organic produce must be certified as such by the Government department responsible before the produce can be sold to the public as Organic.

What does Raw mean?

Raw food does not only cover uncooked food; it includes food which has not been pasteurised or homogenised but has been raised organically. This excludes nearly all processed foods found in tins and packets.

What does Natural mean?

Natural foods can be defined as those foods which have been only minimally processed and do not contain additives of any kind such as artificial sweetening, colouring or flavouring. Once again this is going to exclude nearly all tinned and packaged goods.

What does Gluten Free mean?

Gluten Free means that a food does not contain Gluten. Gluten is a combination of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and some other cereal crops. Gluten is what gives normal dough its elasticity.

Coeliac Disease is a condition of the small intestine which ultimately means that it cannot absorb nutrients which is caused by an adverse reaction to Gluten. However, a totally Gluten Free diet is not necessarily recommended for anyone not suffering from Coeliac Disease. Breads and cereals contain B vitamins which are essential for health, particularly in pregnant women. Wheat products are also a key source of fibre which is crucial for a healthy bowel which works properly.

It is advisable, before starting any diet which excludes major food groups, to consult a medical professional or dietician.

Selections of Vegetarian Products

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Selections of Gluten Free Products

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Selection of Organic Products