Attention Weight Loss Challengers!
(And Those Interested in Nutrition)
There are many opinions about the ideal diet. But one thing I believe we all can agree on is that we will benefit by minimizing or completely eliminating processed foods in our diets.
A processed food is somewhat hard to define. Processing means that a food has been altered from its original state, and this definition can include healthier choices like whole-grain pastas. So for the purposes of this blog, I’ll refer to processed foods as items that have been altered from their original state, are full of calories without much nutritional value, and have chemical additives. These are the processed foods you want to minimize in your diet. They wreak havoc on your waistline; fail to provide your body with the nutrients it needs; contain harmful chemicals; and typically take the place of healthier options on your plate.
Here are 3 tips to help you start reducing your processed food intake now:
- Shop for foods without packaging: Processed food is usually wrapped, boxed or contained. Instead, shop the perimeter of the grocery store, filling your cart with items that don’t require packaging such as vegetables, fruits and herbs. Look for whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes in bulk.
- Cook at home: Save money and minimize processed food intake by cooking your own whole foods at home. This is the best way to control what goes into your diet.
- Read labels: If you need to purchase something packaged, read the nutrition label and pay particular attention to the ingredient list. Choose foods with simple ingredients (four to five or fewer) that you can pronounce.
It can be difficult to completely avoid processed foods, but your overall health can improve dramatically by implementing the simple tips listed above. Perfection isn’t necessary—just practice each day so you can improve. Fill your plate with as many organic fruits and vegetables as possible to help reduce your processed food intake and learn how to read nutrition labels. Once you make these small changes, you’ll slowly stop craving processed foods and undoubtedly see amazing changes to your physique as well!