We are living in an age where fast-paced lifestyle is dominant. This is the reason why many people experience food and eating like something that they must do in order to finish the day “safely”. The days when people respected well-cooked food seem to be far away.
One of the main criteria of choosing food is to find food that is fast, available and tasty. The nutritional value and origin no longer play important role. If you are one of the people who live and think in this way, you should know that it is time for changes.
Processed foods can bring many health problems and affect your life quality in general.
That’s why we are bringing you a list of 10 tips to avoid processed foods forever!
1. Read the Label and Check the Ingredients Before Buying Any Food
Most people don’t pay much attention to the labels and even if they do it’s only to check the amount of sugar and calories. Although this may serve as a good starting point to check the quality of food, only by analyzing the list of ingredients you can tell how thoroughly the food has been processed. If you notice that there are many unknown items on the list and there are more than 5 ingredients in what should be simple food, you should probably think twice before buying that product.
2. Include More Whole Foods, Especially Fruits and Veggies in Your Diet
Well, this is an advice that you have probably known ever since you were a kid, but since there are many people who lack the basic nutrients it is worth mentioning again and again. By consuming this type of food, you will stay away from unhealthy processed foods. You don’t have to worry about the fat, calories and amount of carbohydrates you’ve consumed because while foods are completely natural and healthy.
3. Buy Bread From Your Local Bakery
Many people believe that they are eating healthy whole-wheat bread because they know that white bread is usually unhealthy, but in order to determine whether your bread is healthy or not, you need to check the ingredients used in it. If you notice a few dozens of ingredients including sugar and white flour, you should definitely replace that bread. Use bread that is based only on the natural ingredients used for preparing bread like yeast, whole-wheat flour, salt and water.
4. Whole-Wheat Bread is An Excellent Option, But So Are the Whole-Grain Cereals, Pastas, Crackers and Rice
Once again, make sure that you have read the label and that these foods are made from pure whole grains, not a combination of refined and whole grains. In most cases, the ones we find in the stores use this combination although they are advertised as whole-grain products. Refined grain alternatives including white flour are rich in calories and don’t have many nutrients which means that they are usually rich in sugar.
5. Stay away from store products that are rich in high-fructose corn syrup or HFCS and products that contain artificial sweeteners.
If these ingredients are among the top three ingredients of some product, stay away from those products. Although there are few different studies about HFCS, most of them have shown that it brings more negative effects compared to regular white sugar.
6. Prepare Your Coffee More Carefully
While it is true that coffee beans must be more or less processed before they are used in our cups, it is also true that almost all of the nutrients of this drink are untouched. So, we can freely say that coffee belongs to the category of foods that are processed minimally. In order to keep your coffee as natural as possible try to use natural shake of cinnamon instead of flavored creamers. In addition, use very small amount of raw sugar instead of artificial sweeteners.
7. Use Healthy Snacks
Snacking is the favorite activity of people who feel hungry between meals. This is why it is important to have access to healthy unprocessed snacks when you feel food cravings. Eliminate the packed snack bars, cookies and crackers and keep veggies, raw nuts and fruits close to you. It is easy to prepare healthy snacks in your home too.
8. Go To The Local Farmer’s Market Whenever You Can
If your refrigerator is empty, don’t rush to the closest grocery store or supermarket. Take some time and visit your local farmer’s market. This is the place where you will find nutritious and fresh food. Most of the products there are naturally grown (without pesticides and other chemicals) and meat products from animals that consumed natural foods. In addition, you will also save the environment because supermarkets bring food from different parts of the country – the transportation process pollutes our country.
9. Stay Away From Cans and Bags
If the product that you are interested in is packaged then it was obviously processed. Modern food manufacturers use different processes to extend the shelf life and quality of their products like sweetening, bleaching and dehydration. There is no doubt that these foods can be very useful, but try to stay away from them whenever you can because they are not healthy and can lead to certain health problems if they are used for a long period of time.
10. Avoid Foods That are Very Cheap. In Most Cases These Foods are Low Quality Foods Hence the Price
They usually don’t have good nutritional value and this is the reason why the manufacturers can offer them at that price. They don’t include natural meats or whole grains and they are practically useless unless you just want to stop your food cravings.