Here are 10 alternatives you can try, over time, to reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. Now, new research from Finland shows that purple fruits and vegetables, in particular, can play an even greater role in preventing type 2 diabetes. Unhealthy fats, sugars and artificial additives come into play in salad dressings. Ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives are red flags for processing.
You can avoid them all by making your own. Cereals Porridge is cheaper, healthier and perfect for cold mornings. Soaking oats in water or milk overnight reduces cooking time. Add walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, nuts, a splash of maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon.
Processed foods may win out of convenience, but if you add sodium, fat, and sugar (not to mention chemicals you can't even pronounce), they're a healthy choice that makes them big losers. However, when it comes to making healthy food choices, it's best to reduce your intake of highly processed foods and replace them with healthier alternatives. As an alternative, Dr. Marian O'Reilly, principal nutrition specialist at Safefood, recommends adding vegetables (fresh or frozen) to prepared food to make it healthier and serve longer.
Although bagged spinach, for example, is slightly processed, it's still a healthy option. It's perfectly healthy to consume highly processed foods from time to time, as long as you consume them in moderation and eat whole, minimally processed foods most of the time. Find her sharing practical information about health and nutrition and (most of all) healthy recipes in A Love Letter to Food. Pasta sauce in jars can help you out in a hurry, but if you prefer a healthier option, cook some chopped onion or garlic in olive oil until softened and then add a jar of passata (minimally processed tomato puree).
Almost all foods are processed, at least to some extent, to increase their shelf life or to make them safe for consumption; for example, even raw spinach in bags is processed a little, but it's still a healthy choice.