The simplest answer to this question is no, not all processed foods are bad for you. In fact, some processed foods can be quite good for you, for example things such as; canned salmon, tins of beans, tomato puree, frozen spinach, peanut butter etc. can all be very good for your diet. When deciding what Processed foods, you should buy that will benefit your diet, you should consider checking, that the amount of sodium and fat is not high, pasta meals use white flour instead of whole grains, high calorie packaged snacks, frozen foods that are high in sodium and packaged cakes and cookies that are high in fat and sugar. When deciding what processed foods, you should get, you should be looking at the chemicals, additives and cooking methods and not just automatically deciding that because it’s processed it will be bad for me.
Processed means any change in a food before it becomes available to eat. Technically this could mean slicing an apple could be a processed food. The best way to judge on what processed food is the best for you is by comparing labels, as they have all the products information on them. Beneficial processed:
- Milk: that has been filtered to kill any bacteria.
- Orange juice: with added calcium, extra calcium makes it better then fresh OJ.
- Frozen fruits and vegetables: fruit and veggies that are canned as soon as they’re harvested will retain all their nutrition, vitamins and minerals.
- Dried fruits: Dried fruits have more fibre (important for fighting heart disease, obesity and certain types of cancer.
Processed foods to avoid:
- Canned foods with significant amounts of sodium and fat
- Sugary breakfast cereals
- Processed meat
- Boxed meals that are high in fat and sodium
- Packaged and frozen meals with high calories
- Pasta meals with refined white flour instead of whole grains
This being said, indulging in these meals every so often will not harm your diet. It’s all about having these foods in moderation. In conclusion, not all processed foods are bad for you. It’s all about knowing what you’re consuming by reading the labels and researching the product. Also finding the processed foods that are quite good for you. And when/if you buy the less healthy processed food, make sure you do it in moderation.
Written: Taj Hewitt