Understanding The Definition of Processed Foods

What we eat effect our physical and mental health. Studies are confirming that a diet filled with fruits, vegetables and grains along with proper proteins can help us live happier and longer lives. Researchers and doctors and telling us to stay away from processed foods, however, many people are unaware what these foods are.

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Basically processed foods are foods that have been altered from the natural state for convenience and safety. Ninety percent of Americans' household food budget is spent on processed foods, the majority of which are filled with additives and stripped of nutrients. Most processed foods are loaded with sweeteners, salts, artificial flavors, factory-created fats, colorings, chemicals that alter texture, and preservatives.

It is important to shy away from foods like refined sugars (crystalline fructose, maltodextrin, dextrose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose), margarine, soft drinks and sugary "fruit" drinks, which are loaded with white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors and other food additives, fast food, which is a source of trans fats.

Processed foods that might not be so healthy could include, canned foods with lots of sodium, white breads and pastas made with refined white flour which are not as healthy as those made with whole grains, packaged high-calorie snack foods like chips and cheese snacks, high-fat convenience foods like cans of pasta, frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners, packaged cakes and cookies, boxed meal mixes, sugary breakfast cereals, processed meats.

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Processed meats might be some of the worst of these foods. Eating these meats may increase your risk of colorectal, kidney and stomach cancer. Processed meats include hot dogs, bologna, sausage, ham and other packaged lunch meats.

Though these processed foods and prepackaged meals are very convenient in our fast paced world, they are dangerous and can effect your health. Just as easy as it is to open a bag of chips, it is easy to bite into an apple for a nice crunch, or eat and orange for a sweet treat.

Buying your meats and fruits and vegetables at a farmers market can be much healthier, however, as long as you buy fresh produce and make good choices about your proteins such as fish, lean beef and chicken, you will begin to feel better. In fact, after two weeks of reducing processed foods, people begin to feel better. So learn more about foods to live a healthier and happier life.

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