Smart or Stupid?
Many of us assume that processed food is just any ready meal for us. Yes, mostly processed food is ready made, but we are unaware of the true definition of processed food. Processed food can be defines as foods that are packaged in boxes, cans or bags. These foods need to be processed extensively to be edible and are not found as in nature.
You should try avoiding processed food as much as possible but, there are some foods that aren’t highly processed. When we take a look at processed food, there are some foods that aren’t highly processed. These foods consist of canned fruits and vegetables. They go through some processing but not as much as other packaged foods.
In supermarkets today, grocery shelves are full of all kinds of processed food. In fact, all of the food that that is placed on the shelves is processed. This is because the item has a shelf life. Anything that has a shelf life is processed. It has gone through some sort of procedure that gives it that long shelf life. Many people ask “how can we be sure that the food item has been processed”? Well, let’s think of it this way, how come fresh fruits and vegetables don’t last as much as items in a packaged container. That is only because those fresh and natural items have not been drowned in pesticides and chemicals that will make them last longer. I agree that some processed foods that we consume are difficult to make or sometimes not even available to make at home yourself. For example, cereal is something that cannot be made at home easily. When choosing what cereal you want to bring home for you and your family, choose the product with the least amount of sugar and fats. Whole grain cereal is what you should be looking for when shopping at the grocery store. Everything else will be very high in calories, fat, and sugar. Always pay attention to the nutrition facts; it will help you decide what processed foods are better that other ones. Processed foods are very high in sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, which is why it is crucial to avoid them as much as possible. You can also purchase grains, bread, nuts and meats. These are a few items that are highly difficult to make yourself at home or get on your own. But, these items also fall into the category of the very low processed items.
Also, many of us are unaware of the fact that processed food items contain many artificial ingredients. Processed foods may contain dozens of artificial chemicals that are in no way real “food”. These include:
v Artificial colors
v Artificial flavors—the term artificial flavor on the label may include 10 or more chemicals.
v Texturants – chemical that add texture to food
v Excess salt
Many people state that processed food is a healthy and less time consuming option. They state that fruits and vegetables also undergo a chemical process. Again, you state that fresh fruits and vegetables go through a chemical process but, why don’t they last longer then? How come they only last for maybe even a week? Most processed foods last a minimum of a month. The ultimate question comes down to, is time more important or your health? The main reason people use processed food is to save themselves time in the kitchen. Our body is very strong, but it is breakable when it comes to feeding it. As many say, you are what you eat, and processed food is the last thing you would want to be. You can prepare your kitchen in one day during the week. You can make a tomato puree and have it ready for the week, which is one less thing that will be processed that you consume.
Smart or stupid, the choice is yours.