Is Processed Food All Bad?

Two Schools of Thought?

There are two schools of thought regarding Processed Food:

a. Only fresh, natural, and unprocessed foods are healthy for you, or...

b. Processed food is not that bad for you, it is convenient and sometimes even lists some healthy ingredients.

There Is A Third Choice

Maybe there is a third choice, too. A middle ground where making healthy choices is possible and sometimes even nutritious.

Not all foods that have been altered from their organic state are unhealthy. If getting a variety of fruits and vegetables means eating frozen versions occasionally, by all means this is a good option. Not the best, fresh is best, but frozen food is a close second when considering nutritional value.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are nutritious and convenient and easily available year-round. The freezing process allows them to maintain a great deal of their vitamins and minerals.

Fruit juice is another processed , healthy food. Juice is a great example of a potentially healthy choice that has often had additional calcium and other good nutrients added in preparation. Just make sure you don't choose one that has a high sugar content.

Yogurt, milk and cheese offer a unique combination of nutrients that offer significant health benefits. Research indicates that those losing weight who ate three small servings of dairy per day produced better results than for those who eliminated dairy altogether.

Food To Avoid

Of course, a lot of processed food is definitely not good on a regular basis. Limit or omit these choices from your everyday diet:

* Processed lunch meats and hot dogs.

* Frozen chicken strips & nuggets, frozen dinners.

* High Fat convenience food like prepared spaghetti and ravioli.

* Canned vegetables and sauces containing lots of sodium.

* Foods with high fructose corn syrup listed in the ingredients.

* Bread, rolls and buns made with refined flour.

* Cookies, donuts and cakes.

These food are full of sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats and preservatives.

It is clear that people who eat more processed than unprocessed foods eventually develop some ill effects when it comes to being healthy. They increase cholesterol and cause blood sugar levels to raise and crash, causing carb cravings.

There are some convenience foods out there today that are made with healthier ingredients and don't load up on the fats and empty calories. Again it is important to keep a good eye on the labels and be aware of anything listed that isn't healthy such as nitrates, monosodium glutamate, and high fructose corn syrup.

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