What you need to know is that grocery stores do NOT want you to know about processed foods
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult, but limiting processed foods is way up there. But, again, it is all about making the correct food choices. And I don’t mean seeking out foods labeled as “diet.” Because what you may be getting is the unhealthiest food of all.
Foods labeled on the box as diet, fortified, enriched, sugar-free, or low-fat are often processed foods, and these foods are nutritionally deficient. What are processed foods? These foods have been altered from their natural state to serve one purpose or another. Food manufacturers often break down, modify, or refine foods to create lower-priced food with a longer shelf life.
Don’t let the bright colors of the plastic packaging or aluminum fool you. Processed foods are not natural foods. Instead, they are derived from real food to which harmful toxins, chemicals, and preservatives have been added. These products also often contain GMOs—genetically modified ingredients.
So what foods are considered “processed foods?” We’ve compiled a list of the ones you are probably most familiar with.
- Breakfast cereals and bars
- Frozen pizzas and entrees
- Deli meats
- Microwaveable meals
- Canned goods
- Fast food
- Hot dogs
These examples are only a few of the products considered processed foods. Do you want to know if what you are buying is processed? Here is a good rule of thumb: If the ingredients label is lengthy and hard to pronounce, there’s a good chance the food is processed. If you want to be more specific, we have provided a list of ingredients for you to look out for.
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils including cottonseed, soybean, and corn
- High fructose corn syrup
- Enriched grains or flours
- Artificial dyes and colors
- Artificial flavors
Before you purchase any product, especially ones labeled as we mentioned above, make sure you read the ingredients list. Check for the ingredients we listed and be able to identify aspartame, MSG, thickening agents, binders, fillers, and other additives that are not natural to the food.
Like most people, you have been eating processed foods your whole life—you probably weren’t even aware. So what is the big deal? Why must you stop now? Processed foods pose both immediate and long-term dangers to your health. Studies have shown that because our bodies were not designed to recognize and adequately break down processed foods, we experience hazardous side effects after consuming them, especially if they are consumed regularly. Side effects include inflammation in the body, low energy levels, acne and eczema, poor cholesterol levels, obesity and diabetes, GI tract disorders, high blood pressure, and immune deficiencies. Studies have even linked the consumption of processed foods to learning disabilities in both children and adults.
You probably don’t feel so healthy now eating cardboard-boxed food labeled as “diet” or “low-fat,” do you? Instead, it would be best to opt for whole foods—foods that contain only one ingredient. Buying fresh food is one way to ensure you are purchasing a quality item and not items chock full of fillers and additives. To be more specific, here is a list of things to consider buying on your next grocery trip.
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Grass-fed beef
- Free-range chicken and eggs
Just swapping out one whole food for a regularly consumed processed food is an excellent start on your journey to health and vitality.
Here are some options to consider:
- Exchange your refined sugars and sweeteners for vanilla beans, pure honey, dates, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, stevia leaf powder, and fruits such as bananas, apples, figs, and raisins.
- Keep fresh fruit on hand to satisfy your sweet tooth rather than reaching for a candy bar or cookies.
- Replace regular table salt or iodized salt with Pure Himalayan Sea Salt—a great alternative with 84 beneficial and healthy minerals and elements.
Eating healthy is all about experimentation and knowing what foods to avoid and what foods to choose. So on your next trip to the grocery store, keep an open mind while keeping an eye on the ingredient list. It’s that simple. Be smart, eat whole, and live healthily.
Are you interested in finding out what other foods you should avoid? Then, stay tuned for our next blog to find out what Big Brother and the food industry don’t want you to know about genetically modified organisms (GMOs)—and why they should be called food aliens instead!
Beyond eating well, exercise and sleep are crucial. A good lifestyle, combined with modern-day acupuncture, is a winning combination.
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