Processed foods are popular because they’re usually convenient and often filling. However, those benefits can come at the cost of your overall health. While many doctors recommend taking processed foods out of your diet, it’s not always easy to know what needs to go. Since your health is on the line, you’ll be happy to know that it’s more manageable than you think.
Why Processed Foods Can Be Bad For Your Health
The term ‘processed food’ simply means that the food has been modified from its original state. Since that modification can include several different approaches, not all processed food will be equal.
For example, frozen vegetables can be a healthy alternative to fresh ones but canned vegetables usually lack certain nutrients because of the heating process they go through.
Foods with added salt, fat, or sugar and those that have had most of their nutrients removed are usually the ones your doctor wants you to avoid. These kinds of processed foods are more likely to increase your risk of developing chronic illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
10 Easy Ways To Replace Processed Foods
1. Reach For Your Water Bottle
One of the simplest changes to make to your diet is with what you drink. You might lose track of how often you consume sugary drinks – especially when it’s hot. It’s better to drink some cool water instead. Depending on how much water you already drink, it might take some time before you complete the replacement so go slowly if you need to.
2. Use The Real Stuff
A lot of processed food options are just convenient forms of the fresh fruits and vegetables that you should be eating. To replace unhealthy foods, choose fresh ones instead. For example, apple sauce is an acceptable substitute for canned fruit, and how about snacking on baby carrots to avoid those heavily processed vegetable chips?
3. Skip Ketchup Where You Can
Ketchup is a popular condiment but it contains more sugar or high fructose corn syrup than you might realize. Fortunately, there are many instances when you can do without it. Consider using tomatoes on your sandwiches and to make your sauces.
RELATED: 12 Processed Foods you Should Avoid
4. Try Brown Rice Instead Of White
This is another simple switch as brown rice is just as easy to prepare as its more refined version. Some people have to get used to the slight difference in taste but the added nutrients and fiber are worth it.
5. Skip The Refined Grains
Whole grains are much healthier for your heart and digestive system than refined ones. That means looking for replacements for the white bread and pasta that’s a current part of your diet. As with brown rice, the preparation might not change but it can