Avoiding Processed Foods

Becki Andrus

As you work to achieve healthy eating habits, you will find that you have more energy and feel better everyday. It is important to create the right habits if you want long-term success! Experience immediate improvements in your eating by learning more about a healthy eating plan at my website: EverydayHealthGirl.com

Companies who process their foods do it for one reason: it's cheap to produce! It's a lot easier for them to make cheap, low quality food than to make healthy higher quality food. Why do we buy it then? Simply because it tastes good, these processed foods have additives that are very addicting. Now just because it tastes good doesn't mean you should eat it. Processed food is bad for you-- it's hard on your digestive system and can lead to obesity among other diseases. You don't have to eat it though!

Desicions....

Staying away from processed foods can be hard, but there are so many other healthier food options out there. Picking up your food from local farmers markets is a fantastic way to get healthy food and to support your community. Buy your food from a farmers market rather than your average everyday grocery store will usually ensure that you are getting healthy non processed foods that are fresh and yummy.

A lot of people have problems determining what foods have been processed. It you pick up a package, look at the ingredients-- and if you see a bunch of funny words that you have never heard of before, you can assume that it has been processed. Processed foods have chemicals and all sorts of unnatural ingredients add them that aren't good for us. If you pick up an item like this, set it back down and keep moving. Only buy products that contain ingredients that you would normally keep in your cupboard at home.

A great way to find whole ingredients in food is to shop at your local health food store. A lot of people think that they don't have a health food store near them and later find out that they do. They aren't uncommon, it's just uncommon that many people go to them. If you look online you can usually find a health food store close to where you live.

It's also a great idea to research a local source for organic meat and dairy. Most meat and dairy companies don't feed their cows the grass or hay that they should, and the animals are given harmful antibiotics and growth hormones in order to increase production. Local sources usually feed their cows grass and care for them the way that they should. Getting meat and dairy from these places will ensure that you get the highest quality food that is available.

Being health-conscious about what you are buying and consuming is a great way to stay away from processed foods. The more you know the less likely you will be to make unhealthy choices in your eating habits.

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  • Wice says
    Agreed, processed foods may not be as good for you as fresh, unprocessed foods. However, I'm going to take the opposite tack as this article boldly stats that the ‘one reason’ that processed foods are made, is that it is easier to make cheap, low quality food than to make healthy higher quality food.

    This is simply not true. It is not the one reason. Another very important reason for processed foods is to prolong shelf life. Even cave men processed food by salting it to preserve it.. Processing is not simply adding chemicals. Just cooking or freezing food is a form of processing.

    Another important aspect of food processing is the removal of toxins. Just as important is that processed food can be distributed over long distances easily. Processing allows us to have a more balanced diet with seasonal food available all year around. Imagine how many items would be available in supermarket if there were no food processing.

    Sure, we should all try to eat fresh as often as possible. I believe fresh food is generally tastier for starters – that’s when it’s straight out of my garden. Fresh produce in shops often is not fresh at all and it may or may not have more vitamin content. I wonder what percentage of modern society suffers from vitamin deficiencies caused by their diet in comparison to those in poor countries for whom processed food is not available.

    At least we have choice; but choosing fresh food all the time simply isn’t feasible. Would you be happy to have to cook everything from scratch at every meal – grind your flour, make your bread and pasta, churn your butter and ice-cream, roast your cocoa beans…. The idea is ludicrous in our society.

    A major concern about processed food is food additives. However, the majority of the world do not suffer from food allergies and for those unfortunate ones, generally reading the packet is all that is required to avoid offending ingredients.

    Finally, there is also a fear of contamination in processed foods but this can pale in comparison spoilage of fresh products over a relatively short period of time. Frozen foods are said to often be fresher than those you can buy at your vegetable market!

    As for shopping only at health food stores, if you really believe your health is suffering, it makes you happy and you have a healthy budget, then why not?

    The article also mentions organic vs non-organic foods which is really another question altogether. Organic food can be fresh or processed just like any other food.

    I believe that in the end, it is the same common sense solution that prevails whenever we discuss food on Chelsey – everything in moderation!
  • Anna says
    the problem is that just about everything is processed these days... even if we dont think it is... even like our fruit has stuff in it to make it last longer and not go brown and stuff... only a few years ago an apple would go brown almost as soon as you opened it... but no body liked that so they now make apples that can be cut and stay crisp looking for afes!!
  • Wice says
    You are right Anna. I worked with an apple grower a few years back who was over the moon when he discovered climate controlled storage. From memory, a gas was used to stop the apples ripening so we could get beautiful crisp, fresh fruit all year around.

    I also believe most imported fruit is irradiated before being distributed.

    Mind you even if you grow your own, you could find there are windbore chemicals and pollutants that affect your crop... you might even have acid rain depeindng where you live.... and what about all those power pylons.... I wonder if they can affect crops as well!
  • Anna says
    and things that you didnt know about in the soil??
  • Wice says
    Slightly off on a tangent....Heard a guy on the radio the other day discussing bacteria on the human body. He said that for every human cell we have, we have ten bacteria cells but they are much smaller so there is still more of us.

    However, he did say that we all have the equivalent of a small dog made entirely of bacteria, living in each of our intestinal systems!

    EWWWWoof!!
  • Anna says
    ewww.... but i guess its true... but its why like stayed at hotels and stuff is yuck... coz of all the other peoples germs around the place... haha i dont mind my own but i dont want other peoples!!
  • Wice says
    Guess it could have been worse, but I once found a dirty hanky between the sheets in my hotel room!
    • Anna says
      eww... the thing about that is it prob means the sheets wernt cleaned.....
    • Wice says
      The worst in hotels apparently is the bedspreads. You should NEVER EVER lie down on them as they barely ever get washed and all sorts of things happen on them.... kind of disgusting just thinking about it!

      I've also read that you should take your own pillowcase to put over the ones in hotel rooms because even though these are normally spotless, lurking just beneath the surface in the often quite elderly pillow itself, are the greasy, bacterial remains of innumerable past residents!
    • Anna says
      its so sad though... coz the idea of going to a hotel is so fun... but when you start thinking about it its... icky!!
    • Ew! I work casually in a motel, but had never considered who's
      toilet hands might have touched the bedspreads! And Mother Earth make some delicious unprocessed foods! Their macadamias are yumm-y. So are the dried blueberries!

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