What are processed foods?

Since eliminating processed foods from my diet, I have been asked, “what exactly are processed foods?” When trying to determine if a food is processed or not, the following questions can help build discernment:

– would my great-grandmother have eaten this? basically, has this food been around throughout the ages? If not, it’s likely factory made and highly processed.

– does it have 5 or less ingredients in the Ingredients List? do you even recognize the ingredients? if not, it’s likely full of unnecessary and sometimes harmful chemicals.

– does this food have ANY nutritional value? will my body obtain vitamins and minerals from consuming it? If not, its gotta be processed.

Here’s a basic (but not complete) list of processed foods:

– pop/soda, whatever you call it 🙂 This is an unnecessary staple in the North American diet that’s linked to the increase in obesity and other health problems such as type 2 diabetes.  Diet pop is just as bad! Don’t believe me, read here: How Diet Soda Makes You Fat by Dr. Hyman

– Chips, Candy’s, Microwave Popcorn (making your own is healthy!), and Chocolate Bars (dark unsweetened chocolate is ok/good!) and packaged baked goods.

– Frozen boxed foods such as breaded chicken, frozen lunches (even the “healthy” ones!), french fries and pizzas.

– Foods that have Trans Fat! Even a yogurt can have trans fat so check the ingredient list.

– The following foods you see in this photo, yes, most cereals are highly processed too, unfortunately.

ImageThis post is just a BASIC look at what processed foods are.  The following is worth the read:  10 Highly Processed Foods to Avoid

It may feel overwhelming at first to begin thinking about processed foods and to start eliminating them from your diet.  Believe me, you will not be deprived! There are so many delicious and healthy alternatives that our great-grandmother’s enjoyed.  Personally, I feel really good and have lost weight by avoiding processed foods.  If I can do it, you can certainly do it too. Really, you can.  To get started, you may want to try this: Take the 10 Day Pledge

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