The Health & Healthcare Blog  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Are All Processed Foods Bad For You?

Processed foods are very popular today with busy working people and families. The main reason is their convenience. Processed foods are prepared for quick and easy meals. But processed can have many different meanings, and not all processing is bad.

For example, here are examples of good processing that can make healthy meal preparation easier and it's also good for you.
Pre-mixed salads, pre-cut vegetables (like carrots and celery), fruit pre-cut and bagged, like apples. Even canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are generally prepared when at their peak. These can include tomatoes, beans, strawberries, blueberries, and other fruits and vegetables. Buying pre-prepared and bagged fruits and vegetables are safe and convenient and may even encourage you to eat healthier.

Now, here are examples of processed foods that are not good for you. Deli meats, hot dogs, frozen pizza, microwave dinners, crackers and cookies all are considered heavily processed. This means they have added ingredients as preservatives that increase shelf life, color and flavor. But these ingredients are not good for your health.

When contemplating whether or not to purchase processed foods, read the label to determine what ingredients have been added. The ones you need to watch for are sugar, sodium and fat.

Sugar - watch for high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, maltose, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar, honey and fruit juice concentrate. Look for them even in bread, pasta sauces and cereal.

Sodium - sodium is a preservative, and about 75 percent of what we eat every day comes from processed foods. It can lead to high blood pressure. Watch for sodium in canned goods and all processed foods as they may be loaded with sodium.

Fat - another ingredient to watch for is trans fat found in processed foods. When reading the label, be aware of a manufacturer's trick. They can claim zero trans fat if their serving size contains less than half a gram of fat. So, their serving sizes will often be very small which means you will eat more than a serving size and be consuming much more fat than you should.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.
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