Over the years, processed foods have become extremely popular. In simple words, processed foods are food items which undergo a series of chemical or mechanical operations in order to preserve or change the food. Just about every food item these days has an alternative processed form. Normally, processed foods are available in a bag or box and contain different ingredients. No matter how hard one tries, it is not realistic to avoid every type of processed food. Besides, some processed foods are rather healthy such as unsalted canned beans, frozen vegetables, tofu, organic stock, nut butters, Greek yoghurt, and precooked whole grains.
Learn More About Processed Foods
A simple look at any product ingredient list in your kitchen will give you an idea of the ingredients that are used for making processed foods. The next time you buy any processed food, make sure to read the ingredient list and determine whether the food item is indeed healthy or not. Processed food can either be made through a chemical process (such as in the case of hydrogenated oil, high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, or soy protein isolate) or in a lab. In either of these cases, the processed food will be considered highly processed.
Now, it does not mean that one should make everything on their own as everyday life and the daily grind can get a hold of you, thus limiting the amount of time you can spend cooking food. But, it is a good idea to buy versions of crackers, mayonnaise, and ketchup that consist of short and simple ingredient lists. However, keep in mind that some of the most highly processed foods claim to being the healthiest such as condiments, frozen meals, whole-wheat bread, breakfast cereals, and low-fat foods.
Different Types of Processed Foods
There are different types of processed foods that are available. These are mentioned below.
Some examples of low-fat foods include salad dressings, cookies, and crackers. They contain added salt and sugar to add some flavor. Stabilizers or gums are also added for bringing texture. Some of the foods provide more calories as compared to their higher-fat counterparts.
Whether extruded, shredded, puffed, and flaked, just about every single breakfast cereal at the grocery store is highly processed. This is why you should consider buying breakfast cereals that contain little to no added salt and sugar, whole grains, and no artificial flavors or colors. There should be not more than five ingredients in the breakfast cereal that you buy. Muesli is your best choice as it contains a mixture of seeds, dried fruits, nuts, or raw rolled oats.
There is a reason why those long and perfectly sliced loaves remain on shelves for weeks on end without any sign of spoiling. The reason why they retain the same look without going bad is because they contain artificial preservatives which allow the bread to maintain freshness.
Instead, you should head over to the local bakery for whole-grain bread which is made from simple ingredients like salt, oil, yeast, water, and flour.