"Perhaps the most effective strategy in losing fat is to stop eating manmade, processed food products and start eating real food. Real food is perishable. If it can last on the shelves for extended periods of time or comes in a box, be wary.”
- Abel James – Author “The Wild Diet”
What Are Processed Foods?
You’ll reap the benefits of eating healthy, whole foods even more when you also reduce processed foods. After all, you want your body to benefit as much as possible from the food you eat, right?
What's Wrong With Processed Foods?
The more processing a food has gone through, the fewer nutrients it retains. This means more empty calories that provide little to no nutritional benefit.
They are Low in Nutrients
- Processed foods often do not keep us feeling full long , so we’re hungry again a short time later (this increases cravings for more processed foods).
- Most are designed with convenience in mind. They can be eaten quickly, anywhere (while driving, working at the office, watching TV, etc.), and require little or no preparation.
- Highly processed foods include snack foods and desserts, such as candy, chips, ice cream, cakes, etc. This category also includes frozen entrees, sodas, breads, pasta, and cereals.
- Highly processed animal products include most deli meats, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and some sausages and burgers. Many vegetarian alternatives to meat are also highly processed.
Minimally Processed Foods
The Effects of Food Additives
- Appetite control (or lack of – food additives increase your appetite!)
- Brain function – can cause “brain fog”
- Weight gain
- Quality of sleep
- Concentration (as well as ADD/ADHD)
- Energy levels
- Gut flora, depleting the “good” bacteria necessary for assimilation of nutrients
- Deficiencies of micro-nutrients
Nutrient Quality in Processed Foods
Foods that are highly processed are lacking in the nutrients our bodies need to function properly, especially if our goal is improved overall health and/or weight loss. It’s not realistic for most of us to never eat processed foods, but it’s very realistic to dramatically reduce the amount of these poor quality foods.
Cooking with real food does not need to be difficult or time consuming. With my simple swaps philosophy I teach my clients to simply swap out processed ingredients for ingredients that are less processed and higher in nutrients. The recipes are endless and taste delicious. Once healthier choices become a way of life, you won’t miss the processed choices because you’ll be feeling so much better!
Start with Some Simple Swaps
Do you need help finding quick simple recipes so you can reduce the processed food you are buying?
Do you need help coming up with simple meal plans that will leave you feeling satisfied without spending hours in the kitchen?
Do you need some time saving tips for meal the whole family will enjoy?
Download your free Simple Swaps Guide to Meal Planning and Prepping by clicking the button below. I share some great tips and tricks to help you on your health journey.