Saying No to Processed Foods: The Ultimate Guide

In today’s world of convenience foods and hectic lifestyles, it’s difficult to avoid processed foods. These options appear to be everywhere, from packaged products to canned meals.

While these options are convenient, inexpensive, and tasty, eating too many of them can have negative health consequences.

What Are Processed Foods and How Do You Know If You’re Eating Them?

Processed food is food that has been altered from its natural state, such as cooking, canning, freezing, preserving, or fortification. Any food that has been cooked, baked, or cut is considered processed in technical terms.

Frozen produce, canned tuna fish, frozen mixed berries or fruits in their full form and unsweetened yoghurts are examples of processed foods that are actually healthy. These foods have been processed in some way after being taken from their natural state.

Other processed foods, on the other hand, are not the best choices when trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

Foods that have been heavily processed, such as ready packed meals, frozen pizzas, canned soups preserved with salt, and biscuits and cookies, do not provide your body with much health benefits. Sugar, salt, preservatives, and hydrogenated oils are key ingredients to avoid when avoiding unhealthy processed foods.

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Why Should We Stay Away From Processed Foods?

Although it is nearly impossible to avoid processed foods in today’s hectic world, ultra-processed (or heavily processed) foods should be avoided.

Overeating these foods has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and a variety of other health problems.

Consuming less-processed foods such as beans, fruits, and vegetables, on the other hand, has been linked to a lower risk of certain outcomes, including type 2 diabetes.

5 Ways to Stay Away from Processed Foods

It can be difficult to switch to a processed-food-free diet if you’re used to eating ultra-processed foods. However, following these guidelines can make avoiding processed foods both simple and delicious.

#1 Embrace Meal Planning

Ultra-processed foods are often a quick-fix solution for busy people. If you are able to prep your meals in advance, you can avoid the last minute rush and have a balanced and healthy meal waiting for you when you are ready to eat. Not only will this save you money in the long run by preventing you from ordering that fast food because you are hungry and have nothing to cook, but it will also help you avoid ordering that fast food because you are hungry and have nothing to cook.

Meal planning can also assist you in strategizing your weeks and ensuring that you are eating minimally processed foods.

#2 Include unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts in your diet. Your Kitchen Is Well-Stocked

You’ll be better able to make good snack choices if you’re armed with healthy, unprocessed foods. Choosing a fresh pear or a handful of almonds instead of a bag of chips will provide you with more nutrients and no salt. Stocking up on these healthy foods will ensure that you never run out of healthy options.

#3 Make a grocery list and stick to it.

It’s tempting to grab a bag of freshly baked cookies or other treats while grocery shopping. However, if you commit to only purchasing foods that are on your grocery list, you will have an easier time resisting the urge to buy unhealthy snacks. To fuel your body in a healthy way, fill your grocery cart with fresh produce, nuts, grains, and legumes.

#4 Always Have Convenient Snacks on Hand When You’re Out and About

It’s tempting to run into a 7-Eleven and grab a Donut or a coffee when hunger strikes you whilst you’re on the go. You can resist temptation and enjoy a healthy snack you can easily pack in your bag or car like fruits, home-made protein balls that isn’t loaded with unhealthy ingredients.

Dried (no sugar added) fruit, roasted nuts, and sliced carrot sticks are all good grab-and-go options that travel well.

#5 Work as a Food Label Investigator

There are a few “watch out” items on food labels to look for if you’re trying to avoid ultra-processed foods. Trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavourings, salt, and sugar are all processed ingredients that should be avoided. In general, the fewer the ingredients, the better.

Healthy Alternatives to Processed Food

With a little knowledge, limiting ultra-processed foods can be simple. Healthy substitutions can make the transition to eating less processed foods a lot easier and lead to some positive results.

You can try on some processed healthy food swaps for size:

Salad Dressing Swaps: Instead of bottled dressings, use oil and vinegar as a salad dressing.

Sandwich Swaps: Instead of deli meats, try a sandwich made with fresh meats like home cooked grilled chickens.

Snack Swaps: When you’re craving something sweet, try sweet and chewy raisins instead of candy. If you’re craving something crunchy, roasted nuts are a better choice than cheese puffs. Replace processed crackers with vegetable slices and serve with hummus, salsa, and other dips.

Deprivation Isn’t Necessary When It Comes to Healthy Eating

While giving up processed foods may seem difficult, there are plenty of delicious healthy food swaps that actually taste good, proving that healthy eating does not have to mean deprivation. We can still have our favourite dessert, but with a few healthy substitutions. Just remember that limiting processed foods will pay off in the long run and will help you become a healthier version of yourself.

If you are looking to improve your health and fitness in a permanent and healthy way, do try these simple hacks. If you are looking for a personalized program that will help you to cleanse your gut and get rid of the toxins and free radicals in the body (that causes ageing and wrinkles) and feed your body optimum nutrition that will improve your metabolism in a great way, please do get in touch with me. I can create a customized program that will be just right for you.

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