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Processed Foods: What is ok and What to Avoid?


Processed foods get a bad rap as diet wreckers. It’s responsible for rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and rising type 2 diabetes. But processed foods aren’t limited to boxes macaroni and cheese, French fries, and takeout burgers. It may surprise you that whole wheat bread, homemade soup, or a chopped apple are also processed foods.

While some processed foods should do eaten less frequently, many belong to a balanced diet. Here’s how to sort the nutrients from the less nutritious.

What is Processed Foods?

What is Processed Food_

“Processed foods” include foods that have to remain cooked, canned, frozen, packages, or whose nutritional composition has remain alter by enrichment, preservation, or preparation in any way. Every time we cook, bake, or prepare food, we process food.

It fall on a spectrum from low to highly processed:

Slightly processed foods, such as bagged spinach, cut greens, and roasted nuts, are often preparing to your liking.

Foods processed at their peak to maintain nutritional quality and freshness include canned tomatoes, frozen fruits and vegetables, and canned tuna.

Foods with added ingredients for flavour and texture (sweeteners, spices, oils, colours, and preservatives) include packaged pasta sauce, salad dressing, yoghurt, and cake mixes.

Ready-to-eat foods like crackers, granola, and deli meats are more it.

The most processed foods do often prepared, such as frozen pizzas and microwave dinners.

The Positives Of Processed Foods

It can help you eat more nutrient-dense foods. For example, milk and juice sometimes remain encouraged with calcium and vitamin D, and mealtime cereals may contain added fibre. Canned fruit (packed in water or juice) is a good option when fresh fruit is unavailable. In addition, some minimally it, like pre-cut greens and pre-washed bagged spinach, are valuable convenience foods for busy people.

If you want to minimize your intake of processed foods, try preparing and cooking more home-based meals on whole foods. Also including vegetables, beans, and whole grains.

Is it Possible to Eat Processed Foods as a Share of a Healthy Diet?

Yes, it is possible to include healthy processed foods in your diet. However, you need to read the nutrition facts labels carefully.

Scanning the back of a cereal packet. A bag of bread, or even a prepared meal can help you compare and contrast other available products so you can choose one with less fat, salt and sugar.

One way this has become easier over the years is with the appearance of the “traffic light” system that we’re sure you’ve seen before. Those red, amber, and green colours in fat, sugar, and salt immediately tell us whether that food is healthy and will cause you to exceed the recommended daily intake. So if you want to make healthier choices, choose more greens and ambers and reduce the reds.

Why is Processed Food Meat Wrong for You?

For example, bacon comes with very high levels of sodium and saturated fat.

Too far sodium can lead to problems like high blood pressure, and saturated fat remains linked to obesity and heart disease, so it might be worth thinking about before you load your breakfast plate with salt, bacon, and sausage.

The preservatives usually used in processed meats are also a cause for concern. They must remain linked to various health problems ranging from headaches to cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease.2 In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO ) classifies bacon and other processed meats as Group 1 carcinogens due to the nitrates (a preservative that turns meat red/pink) they contain. It puts them in the same category as tobacco and asbestos, which should indicate how healthy they remain!3 In the UK, eating no more than 70g of processed meat per day remains recommended due to its saturated fat content. It is equivalent to a few slices of bacon.


Over the past few decades, ultra-processed foods have become commonplace in diets worldwide. However, eating enormous amounts of these foods increases health risks.

To rebalance their diet or make it healthier, people can substitute ultra- also with whole foods, with grains, nuts, seeds, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

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