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Processed food can be found just about anywhere. You may hear the term ‘processed’ being thrown around quite a lot. Before you can really take the steps to eliminate processed food from your diet, you first must know what to eliminate. So, what does it mean?

Processed food is any food that has been modified during preparation. It’s when agricultural goods are made into food that lasts longer than they normally would. These goods consist of nearly sixty percent of the average person’s food intake. However, keep in mind that all processed foods aren’t bad for you. Unhealthy processed foods are those that consist of high amounts of sugar, fat, and salt.

Here are some ways to avoid unhealthy processed food:

  1. Avoid buying food in cans, bags, and boxes.
  2. Do not buy any white food.
  3. Read ingredient labels before purchase.
  4. Only purchase bakery bread.
  5. Buy whole-grain goods.
  6. Shop at the farmer’s market.
  7. Make your own junk food.

Finding food that’s process-free may be challenging but not impossible. Let’s explore the ways you can shop smarter and live healthier.

Avoid Buying Food in Cans, Bags, and Boxes

Most prepackaged food items should be an obvious red flag. But foods that are in the category of ultra-processed products, are the most detrimental to your health. When food has been prepackaged, you can always assume that most nutrients in it are gone if not all.

Frozen pizzas, microwave dinners, deli meats, chips, and pastries are examples of ultra-processed food. The reason why processed food is so popular is that it’s easily affordable, very tasty, convenient, and has extended expiration dates.

However, don’t be tempted. Stay away from processed foods by going on certain isles in the store that caters to these specific products. Instead, stick to areas of the store where you will be sure to find food that is not pre-prepped.

Do Not Buy Any White Food

Yes, you read it correctly. Don’t consume any food that is white except for potatoes and eggs. All white foods have two things in common, they’re enhanced in wheat flour and highly bleached.

In other words, to get its white pigment foods are bleached. As a result, all nutrients and fibers are destroyed. Then, the manufacturer attempts to ‘add’ fiber and vitamins, which are not accepted by the body. The body doesn’t accept these nutrients because they are not natural. White foods are some of the most processed foods on Earth. Instead, swap out your white rice for brown rice and shop for whole-grain foods.

Read Ingredient Labels Before Purchase

Check the label of the product you want to buy before you buy it. Usually, you can spot food that is highly processed by scanning the ingredients. Fats, grams, calories, and sugar content should be inspected closely.

Properly, scanning the ingredients list is the best way to spot if your product is a highly processed food. Non-processed foods should not consist of more than five ingredients. Also, if a food label contains a lot of names that are not familiar to you or can not be pronounced do not purchase it.

Only Purchase Bakery Bread

White bread tastes good, but it is not necessarily good for you. Additionally, many people describe homemade bakery bread as tasting much better. Prepackaged white bread consists of high fructose corn syrup. Over time, consuming this ingredient causes a decline in heart health.

Bakery bread contains less sodium than pre-packaged white bread. Also, bakery bread is high in fiber. It is good to consume bread containing fiber so that your digestive system can improve. Fiber can prevent diabetes and inflammations as well. If you cannot make it to a bakery, perhaps, you would like to make your own bread right at home. Check out the link attached at the end for a delicious homemade bread recipe!

Buy Whole Grain Foods

You can never go wrong with whole grain. Whole grain food are consumed in the shape they’re found in nature. Keep in mind, foods such as whole grain bread, canned tomatoes, and plain milk do undergo some processing. Though, these foods are in the category of processed foods they are still an excellent choice for heart health.

Here are some examples of whole foods:

  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Fresh/frozen fruit and vegetables.
  • Whole grains
  • Meats
  • Seafood
  • Herbs
  • Spices

Shop at the Farmer’s Market

There are quite a few benefits of buying food from farmer’s markets. One of the main reasons you should shop there is because the food there is known to be minimally processed. Farmers are concerned about public health and take pride in growing delicious and wholesome products for consumers.

Other reasons to shop at farmers markets:

  • Food is more flavorful.
  • You are protecting the environment.
  • No pesticides or added hormones.
  • Become exposed to a variety of spices.
  • Food is always in season.
  • You get the chance to support the farming business.

Buy Ingredients to Make Your Own Junk Food.

You may constantly hear people say not to eat junk food. Well, this is true to a certain degree. While eating sweets is not necessarily nutritional, it is still a better alternative to bake them yourself.

Consider this, if you had to bake a cake every time you wanted to eat it, then how often would you eat cakes? You most likely would not eat them often. Whenever you feel a sweet tooth coming on pick up your apron and put down those car keys! You will not only know exactly what ingredients you are eating; you will be consuming less sugary sweets. It’s time to whip things up in the kitchen!

So, now that you have many different and creative ways on how to stop eating processed food. Here are some quick additional information about why processed food should not be perpetually consumed.

Six Alarming Facts about Processed Foods:

  • Include unnatural oils.
  • Risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes increases.
  • It’s designed to make you crave it.
  • Causes you to pack on the pounds and fast.
  • High amounts of sodium content raise blood pressure.
  • Contains red dye which comes from dead bugs.

Homemade bread recipe:

Sources: tasteofhome, connect2local, mindovermunch, heartfoundation, medicalnewstoday