When ever you hear the word "processed food" possibly burgers, candy and packaged meals come to mind. Yes, these are examples of processed food but in reality almost all the food we eat has been processed or transformed from its original form. Few people live in a climate where fruits and vegetables are available year long so through the process of freezing; canning and drying these foods can be preserved and enjoyed all year long. Milk is processed and milk is considered highly healthy. Processed food we enjoy a variety of breakfast cereals filled with goodness. Processed food provides food that can be used when camping or by the armed forces where there is no cooking equipment available. Because of the canned and dried goods people can develop a food storage incase any natural disaster occurred and food could not be brought in.
As you can see processed food can be a great thing but the catch is it CAN be a good thing because some processed food can increase the risk of disease and lack nutritional value. The important thing is to know what to look for when buying your food at the supermarket, because lets face it almost every thing is processed except the fresh produce. Look at the ingredients, if you are going to put food into your body find out what is in the food, take responsibility for you health.
Things to avoid:
- Refined White flour, used in bread and white pasta
- Trans fats
- Canned goods with a high level of sodium
- High-caloric packaged snacks such as: chips, cheese snacks, certain crackers
- High-fat convenience foods such as ravioli, frozen dinners, frozen fish sticks, fast food, starchy pancakes etc...
- Packaged cakes and cookies
- Processed meats: hot dogs, ham, packaged lunch meat
- Sugary breakfast cereals
Now, if you having a panic attack because the above list describes all the items you buy at the super market don't be overwhelmed. They worst thing to do is to completely change your entire deity intake by going all organic and everything because this route will be short lived. In order to alter your dietary consumption for good it is essential to take time. Look at you shopping list, what items could be easily replaced with a better processed choice? It is a good idea to choice items that you consume a lot of for instance bread, buy bread made with whole wheat flour instead of refined white flour. Perhaps you always pick up packaged brownies as a desert for your family to enjoy at the weekend. Brownies are really easy and inexpensive to make, so exchange the packaged brownies with a couple of ingredients (most of them you already have sitting in your cupboard) and you decrease the amount of bad processed food that enters your body.
Lots of people buy the bad processed food because it is cheap, so look for sales, when whole wheat pasta is on sale buy a dozen packages and you can store them because they were processed and have a long shelf life. To increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables invest in a vegetable garden and fruit trees then at harvest time begin canning, freezing and drying your own fruit and vegetables. This way you can determine how much sodium goes into the canned goods.
Processed food can be good or bad it just depends on how the food was processed and what additions were made. You have the power to decide what you eat so start looking at the ingredients and make good healthy choices.
By Worldwidehealth Editor
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.