Healthy Action Step of the Day: Reduce Amount of Processed Food You Eat

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Reduce the amount of processed food you eat. Most foods are processed in some way so that we can eat it. Processing can be as simple as altering it from its original form. According to this article from Medical News Today, that’s known as mechanical processing, which is vastly different than chemical processing. “If it’s a single ingredient food with no added chemicals, then it doesn’t matter if it’s been ground or put into a jar. It’s still real food. However, foods that have been chemically processed and made solely from refined ingredients and artificial substances, are what is generally known as processed food.”

That’s what we want to avoid as much as possible because processed foods are usually loaded with sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, other artificial ingredients, preservatives and most importantly, very few nutrients. Some processed foods are “fortified,” but that usually means that vitamins and minerals have either been added back into a food where those nutrients might have originally existed, but they were lost during processing, or the “food” is so artificial, it never contained any real nutrients to begin with.

All of that is why we should simply be eating the real stuff, the real food. If getting all processed food out of your diet seems too daunting to do at once, take baby steps. Start cooking at home more, where you have control over what goes into your food; eat foods that are as close to their original form as possible; and if you do eat foods that come in a box, bag or can, choose foods that only have one or two easily recognizable ingredients. Once you start down this path, it will get much easier, and healthier. I promise!

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