From cookies and chocolate to frozen pizza, many of the foods we love aren’t good for us. Make healthier choices today by stomping out processed foods!
There’s a reason that processed foods are a common part of most people’s diets. While they happen to be easy and convenient, they also provide the sugar and salt our body craves! However, in the long term, a balanced diet full of vegetables, whole grains and lean meat is much healthier. That’s why we have some tips on how you can ditch these unhealthy foods.
What Are Processed Foods?
There are a variety of ways in which food is processed. Vegetables and fruits that are frozen may be washed, cut and sealed in bags for consumption. While some of these foods have health benefits, many are just plain bad for you. In fact, many of them are laden with sugar, salt, oil and calories for taste and texture.
As additives and preservatives can increase the food’s shelf life, they are commonly found in many boxed and canned goods. Processed foods can be made in a variety of different ways including frozen, canned, baked, dried and pasteurized. These processes can impact the nutritive value of everything from cereal, milk, and bread to cheese, cookies and potato chips.
Why Is Highly Processed Food Bad?
Unfortunately, the overconsumption of processed foods makes it hard to maintain nutritional balance. Depending on the type of food, there can be a variety of different health drawbacks.
- Contains Sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup – Many processed foods contain a high amount of sugar and/or high-fructose corn syrup. While sugar is empty calories, it also offers no essential nutrients and adversely affects metabolism. Sugar consumption is also associated with heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
- Easy to Overconsume – As eaters, we are naturally drawn to foods that are sweet and salty. Unfortunately, processed foods and obesity go hand in hand as they’re designed so we eat more than we need. This bypasses the balance our body needs, adding excess sodium and sugar to our diet. Share your tips to curb unhealthy snacking on FamilyApp!
- Artificial Ingredients – If you’ve ever read a list of processed foods ingredients, there’s a good chance a lot of them are unfamiliar. In fact, many artificial chemicals are added to food to preserve them. This can include ingredients that alter the taste, color and texture of your food!
How Can You Avoid Eating Processed Foods?
Processed food dangers may be everywhere, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make healthier choices. Instead of unhealthy snacks, opt for whole foods with health benefits! Here are three tips to get you started:
1. Prep Your Meals
The overconsumption of processed foods has a lot to do with their convenience. But, by making your meals ahead of time, it’s easier to avoid empty calories. Whether you keep them fresh or freeze them, they’ll be there for when you need them. Whole foods, lean meat, and vegetables are always good options!
2. Cut Down on Snacks
Many of us eat healthy at lunch and dinner, but it’s the snacks in between that really get us. It’s important to have a healthy snack to keep your energy levels up, but keep portion control in mind. When it comes to processed foods vs whole foods, there’s no comparison!
3. Start a Garden
It’s easy to read a label, but it can be hard to know what happens to our fruits and vegetables beforehand. While you can opt for organic, try growing your own food! If you focus on the vegetables you love, you may even get a new hobby out of it. Share your gardening ideas on your favorite family app!
Many processed foods offer a sweet treat or a salty snack. Unfortunately, they’re engineered for overconsumption and are often chock full of additives and preservatives. Luckily, making healthier choices only require some preparation and a little discipline. Do you have any tips for cutting down on processed foods? Share them with other readers! It might be hard to forego your favorite treats, but it can be better for your health and your waistline.