You might be aware that consuming a healthy diet will help with reducing the risk of many diseases. Even, it will help you keep the weight under control. A healthy diet is something that is made up of low-fat or fat-free dairy products, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. In addition, it should include nuts, eggs, beans, fish, poultry and lean meats. In other words, a healthy diet is something that restricts added sugars, sodium, trans and saturated fats. Even, it pays attention to consuming minimally processed foods.
What are processed foods?
You might have heard suggestions to avoid processed foods. But, to avoid them, you should actually know what they are. You can identify unhealthy processed foods only when you actually know what they are. The term “processed food” is used to refer to food items that have gone through a series of chemical or mechanical operations with a view to preserve or to change its form. You will typically find these foods in a bag or a box and they will have more than one item in the list of ingredients. It is hard to avoid processed foods these days. The reason is that some are actually health like unsalted canned beans, frozen vegetables, tofu, organic stock, nut butter, Greek yoghurt and pre-cooked whole grains.
Is there anything like the benefits of processed foods?
If you are wondering whether there are any benefits of processed foods, yes, there are benefits. But, it is suggested that you go for should not choose highly processed foods. Rather, you should go for less processed foods. When you do this, you can get the benefits listed below:
Food processing greatly enhances the shelf life of foods. It does not mean that the nutrition content is lost. Some techniques of processing like freezing will preserve the nutrition content to a great extent. Even, other methods of processing like cooking can help with improving the nutritional value. So, with processed foods, you can save money as you can preserve them and need not have to buy them again and again.
From the processed food facts, you will get to know that some food processing techniques help the producers to get rid of unhealthy and even dangerous toxins from the food. For instance, when you take the case of milk pasteurization, it will help with getting rid of harmful bacteria from raw milk. In turn, the milk turns out to be safe for human consumption. Further, processing foods like boiling will reduce the water content from the food, thereby reducing the chances of bacteria growth as bacteria need water to grow.
Marketing and convenience:
Further, processing enables the produces to offer a mostly uniform product. For instance, if you buy a bottle of a product from a specific brand today and you buy it tomorrow as well, it will be the same product. Further, processing also permits easier and quicker consumption. Yes, a food that is already processed will not consume more of your time needed for preparation.
What is the problem with processed food?
Even though processed foods are known for the benefits listed above, you should be aware of the worst processed foods as well. Yes, highly processed foods contain a lot of salt or salt. As you know, high salt content in the food can lead to a lot of health issues. For instance, the increased presence of high blood pressure at a very young age is associated with increased consumption of processed foods these days.
Will processed food lead to weight gain?
Studies show that people, who are fed with a diet that is high in ultra-processed foods like diet beverages, fruit juices, processed meats, canned foods, low-fat potato chips, sugary yoghurts, white bread, muffins and breakfast cereals gain more weight. The reason is that these foods are known to increase hunger hormones. This happens in highly processed foods as compared to minimally processed foods like seeds, nuts, whole grains, beef, fish, grilled chicken, eggs, vegetables and fruits. Not just weight gain, highly processed foods and cancer risk also increase.
List of non-processed foods:
As you are now aware of the risk associated with high-processed foods, you can consider the list of non-processed foods mentioned below:
- Raw vegetables
- Non-salted nuts
You can consider the foods that belong to the categories mentioned above at least once in a day to keep yourself away from the risk of highly-processed foods.