Processed Foods to Avoid

Marlene Alphonse Mar 12, 2019
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You might have heard from many people that there are many unhealthy processed or packaged foods. Processed foods are low in nutrition and may be even stale. Here we will be discussing the different types of packaged foods, along with ill effects of eating them...
Processed foods, also known as packaged foods, are foods that undergo various processes like canning, sterile processing, refrigeration and freezing that provide them with a longer shelf life. Some other methods for processing foods is pasteurization, blanching, dehydrating and sun drying.
Nicolas Appert and Clarence Birdseye are the two pioneers behind the food processing industry and who introduced various types of processed or pre-cooked foods to the world. Cooking food is also a method to process food and make it free from microorganisms.
There are some processed foods that are beneficial, like pasteurized milk, which contains no bacteria and is homogenized to keep the fats from separating. Frozen vegetables are also good for consumption as the essential minerals and vitamins are preserved in the process of freezing.
Vegetable and fruit juices (orange juice is fortified with calcium) are fortified to make them even more nutritious. Though these foods are healthy, there are some that have to be avoided as they may contain chemicals that may be harmful to the human digestive system.
It is usually best to avoid processed meats, as eating these meats may increase your risks of contracting various types of cancers like stomach, kidney and colorectal cancer.

List of Processed Foods to be Avoided

Packaged foods contain lot of synthetic chemicals that can trigger unwanted reactions in the body and may also lead to ill health. Here are some of the foods that should be avoided as they are literally loaded with sodium and other chemicals;
  • Pastas and white bread made with refined white flour
  • Packaged high-calorie snack foods, like chips and cheese snacks
  • Sugary breakfast cereals
  • Canned foods with lots of sodium
  • Frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners
  • Packaged cakes and cookies
  • High-fat foods, like cans of ravioli
  • Boxed meal mixes, loaded with sodium and fat
  • Processed meat and fish like sardines, tuna and salmon, etc.

How to Avoid Processed Foods

Not all processed foods are good for health, as they are high in calories, sugar, trans fat and saturated fats. They also have a high salt content as salt is added to these foodstuffs in order to prevent the foodstuffs from spoiling by draining out the moisture and increasing the shelf life.
Here are some ways that can be implemented if you want to avoid these foods in your diet;
  • The first basic 'rule' is to get rid of all the cans of processed foods in your cabinet and refrigerator.
  • Select fresh fruits like fresh whole fruits and vegetables to replace the canned fruits and vegetables. As the fresh fruits and vegetables do not have a longer shelf life, it would motivate you to finish them off before they go bad and get a fresh stock.
  • Eat your meals at home and get your lunch packed from home. In this way you can eat fresh and healthy food and can also save money which you spend on fast food.
  • Buy fresh meat instead of getting processed meat like bacon, hotdogs, red meat and bacon as they are chemically treated in order to make a longer shelf life.
  • You can use homemade versions or substitutions of the store bought sauces. You can also make your favorite condiments and sauces with fresh ingredients or you can also try new recipes by getting a replacement for these condiments.
Though processed foods are convenient, popular, easy to cook and delicious, there are many hazards related to them. So it is better if you know what are the pre-cooked foods to avoid and substitute them for natural ones. Eat natural and well cooked food to lead a healthy and disease free life.
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