Before most of the food came straight from the ground or from the branch and reached our tables directly. However, today that may not be possible with the growing number of people. We do not have time to cultivate crops and vegetables and fresh fruits and vegetables may not be available very easily for some people.
In that case, processed foods can help people to find the things that they are looking for. Almost everything that you buy in the grocery store now falls into the category of processed food.
Choosing processed foods
If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, it means you eat nutritious, low-calorie foods. It is very important to ensure that you are limiting processed foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition. You need to do that to ensure that you are not getting and looking older than you actually.
You cannot completely eliminate processed foods from your diet. It is not practical and not even desirable. Adding extra vitamins and minerals to foods like cereals and orange juice can help you to get the nutrition necessary. Some of the processing practices can also help prevent food from spoiling or being destroyed by pests. Some processing may also be necessary to preserve the food's nutritional value.
Most of the time, choosing foods that have been only minimally processed is the best option for optimizing nutrition and avoiding the possible side effects. It is a good choice to avoid highly processed foods because they have less nutritional value and may contain unnecessary or dangerous ingredients.
Common Additives and Their Uses
- Humectants: can prevent dried fruit from drying out
- Potassium sulfate: Used in beer. Works as an anticaking agent
- Emulsifier: Used in mayonnaise and peanut butter. Keeps oils dispersed
- Carrageenan: Can prevent the formation of ice crystals in ice cream
- Xanthan gum: Used in low-oil dressing to maintain good consistency
- Algin: Can add creaminess and thickness to puddings and ice cream
- Phosphoric acid: Can sharpen flavor in cola drinks
- Soy lecithin: Can keep chocolate and cocoa butter in a candy bar from separating
Avoid these ingredients
Sulfites, Aspartame, MSG (monosodium glutamate), FD&C Yellow #5 etc.
The pros and cons of processed foods
Processed foods are becoming part of our everyday life. Many people think they are the same here as day offers easier reach and faster availability. However, not everything about processed foods is good.
There are added sugars, artery-clogging elements and they can add more calories to your body. Many of the processed foods are also stocked with saturated fats and sodium. These processed foods may account for about 50% of the saturated fat, 57% of the sodium, and 75% of the sugars that people consume.
However, that does not mean that all processed food is bad. There are whole grain cereals available with added vitamins. You will also find yellow mustard and vitamin di boosted low-fat almond milk. Today, processed foods provide 55% of the dietary fiber, 34% of vitamin D, and 65% of folate.
Companies use creative marketing to sell heavily processed foods and products. Do not fall for their advertising and try to find out the actual truth by asking for proof about the claims.