Monday, November 4, 2013

Processed Foods Can Be Healthy? WHAT!?

"To eat processed or not to eat processed foods?" That, my friends, is the question! Well, it may surprise you to learn that processed foods are more than frozen pizzas and a box of mac and cheese. Even cut up apple slices, whole wheat breads, and homemade soups are technically processed. Did I just confuse you? No worries... it'll make sense in a second!

Bagged spinach, cut veggies, canned nuts. What do they all have in common? Well, they are minimally processed foods.  Other healthy food staples that have been processed include canned tomatoes, beans, and frozen fruits and veggies. Fortified juices are also considered processed. But are these foods bad? NO! And the reason is this is simple--- these foods are simply prepared and packaged, usually at the peak of season with little additivies. Frozen produce, for example, has the same nutrient content as fresh. Even better? They're often cheaper and you can buy your favorite fruit that may not be in season otherwise. As a personal example, I love frozen mangos for these reasons:
  1. A fresh mango is costly and can be hard to find year round.
  2. I don't have to worry about it going bad. I can take out as much mango as I need then pop it back in the freezer. How easy is that?!
  3.  Frozen mangos are already cut up. If you're a fellow mango-enthusiast then you, too, must know how hard it is to cut up a mango. I'm always scared I'll chop of a finger!
Now, I'm not encouraging the consumption of all processed foods mind you! Eating processed foods can fit into a healthy diet in moderation, but please be on the look-out for added fat, sodium and sugar. Try these tips for optimal health:
  • Limit frozen TV dinners and pre-prepared boxed meals--- these foods are the most processed! 
  • Avoid foods with trans fat; trans fat has absolutely no health benefits
  • Watch the sodium! Keep in mind that a serving of salt is 1 tsp/day, or 2,300 mg.
  • Rinse your canned veggies and beans
  • Look for added sugar in the least expected places. Even breads can have added sugar to aid in a brown hue. The first couple ingredients of your whole wheat bread should not include maltose, cane sugar, or honey.
  • Pick foods that are not packed in oil or syrups


  1. Nice article processed food. Very informative article. I also wrote an article on processed food and explaining how it is harmful for kids . Very difficult explaining the unpronounceable processed food chemicals to teenagers .

  2. Health Food
    This informative article examines some fuss-free eating routine changes start to create right away that may increase your current physical fitness.

  3. Md Imran--- I'm so glad you think so! It's much easier to live healthfully than people may think.