We live in a fast-paced world, with very little time to ourselves. From the morning hustle to reach the workplace on time to the tired walk back home, there remains no time to cook, clean, or simply enjoy some “me time.” This rushed life has adversely affected many aspects of our lives, particularly nutrition and diet. With limited or no time to cook, people have been majorly relying upon processed food.
Although processed food proves convenient as it does not take much time or effort, it is still not a complete alternative. How exactly does processed food affect our bodies? And is there any way to cut out processed food from our diet?
You should know that the most significant threats caused by eating processed food are limited to physique and mental stability. The physical issues caused by processed food include high blood pressure, extreme cholesterol levels, and unstable heart health, ultimately leading to the risk of developing chronic heart disease. Since processed food is high in calories, and fat, as a result of added sugar and oils, it also increases the risk of obesity. Additionally, people who regularly consume processed food in high quantities are also more likely to develop mental health issues like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc.
Avoid Packaged Snacks
Binge-eating is something that most of us have fallen prey to. And for most people, the go-to choices include chips, chocolates, cold drinks, and other highly processed food items. Instead, practice substituting these snacks with fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, etc.
Reading labels does not only include glancing through the number of carbs, fats, and proteins. There is more to it. Read through the ingredients list. If you notice many unrecognizable, vague, and difficult to understand items, there is a high chance that it is highly processed.
Avoid Processed Meats
Processed meat sucks the nutrition out of the natural food, and it is usually difficult to digest. It is also quite fattening, as it has oil and other fatty ingredients. Instead, prefer fresh foods like fresh deli meat for more health benefits.
Most of the staple ingredients like white bread, white rice are made with refined grains. They go through excessive processing in the refinement process. Substitute them with whole-grain alternatives such as wheat bread, brown rice, and so on.
Buy From Local Markets
Buying fresh food and eating fresh food is advisable. Store-bought fruits and vegetables are usually processed, as they contain preservatives to last for a long time. But it is best to prefer fresh fruits and vegetables from the local farmer’s market.
Cold Drinks Are A Big No
All the store-bought cold drinks, and even packaged fruit juices, for that matter, are heavily processed. They are packed with preservatives and also include added sugar. Instead, fresh fruit juice, coconut water, and homemade drinks are a better choice.
Granola Bars Are Not Healthy
The packaged granola bars that you find in the grocery stores have artificial sweeteners or excessive sugar. They are just marketed to be healthy but are heavily processed. Replace them with a handful of fresh nuts and seeds.
All in all, it is fair to say that most of the high-shelf life grocery items are processed and can cause significant harm to the body. This is why fresh food is always valued more. Do you best to stick to eating whole foods made with fresh meat, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and other healthy options