Five Types Of Processed Foods You Should Absolutely Avoid & Alternatives

Five Types Of Processed Foods You Should Absolutely Avoid & Alternatives

Already Processed foods are the quickest food you can get, little wonder why their demand is very high. Hamburger and Fries Wallpapers - Top Free Hamburger and Fries Backgrounds - WallpaperAccessWhile ideally we should buy fresh food from the farm and prepare it in the healthiest way possible, it’s a lofty dream as many do not have access or simply cannot afford it. Enter already processed food.

What is processed food?

Processed foods include food that has been pre-cooked, canned, frozen, fortified, packaged with its nutritional components changed by way of fortifying, preparing, or preserving.

Examples include cereals, potato chips, bread, cookies, cheese, etc.

Not all process food is bad for you. Canned vegetables stored in their own juice are a good example. However, there some types of processed food that you should make a conscious effort to limit their intake.

Most processed food, especially the ones you find on the counter will contain a high amount of salt, sugar, oil, and calories.

Salt and sugar are added to make them safe for consumption. It will also contain addictive and preservatives to increase shelf life, all of these when put together can wreak havoc on a person’s health.

Here are some processed foods you should avoid.

Bacon/hot dogs

There’s a reason why bacon tastes delicious to the point of being a staple in some homes. This chewy protein contains a high amount of sodium that can spike a person’s blood pressure. But, there’s more. Bacon is also filled with saturated fat which is one of the leading causes of heart diseases and obesity.

Also, over-the-counter bacon is high in preservatives that have been known to cause headaches and even, cancer.

A study done by World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer states that process proteins such as bacon and hotdog can be classified as carcinogens because of the high amount of nitrates they contain. In fact, the study says they’re just as bad as cigarettes.

Each slice of pan-fried bacon contains an astounding 194 milligrams (mg) of sodium, which is over 13% of the recommended sodium intake per person in a day.

For an alternative, replace bacon with avocados as they are a healthier and more nutritious option.

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Flavoured nuts

The nuts session of the mall is one of our favourites when shopping for groceries. However, that maple syrup or toffee-toasted flavoured goodness can be more dangerous than you think.

Shelved nuts are packed with extra helpings of salt and sugar which can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Just a handful can have you consuming more sugar, salt, and calories than you bargained for.

If you enjoy nuts, you’re much better off sticking to the unflavoured ones. You could buy cashews, walnuts and toast them in your kitchen, just how you like them.

Dried fruits

Almost everyone loves dried fruits and with good reason; they’re delicious. However, they may contain sugar you’re not ready to deal with.  Each serving of dried fruits contains 32.5 percent sugar.

To be on the safe side, avoid flavoured ( candied) dried fruits and stick to frozen fruits instead if you’re looking for a quick snack.

Instant noodles

Instant noodles have saved many a life from the pangs of ravaging hunger and we are grateful. However, you want to watch the frequency with which you consume it. Instant noodles are high in sodium which can lead to heart diseases and high blood pressure even in young people. Its makeup is simply carbohydrate. As such, it offers no nutritional value; just a full stomach and vibes.

Taking a closer look, one small packet contains 14 g of fat and over 1,500 mg of sodium and this is without counting the flavor packets. Those shiny packets contain 100 mg of sodium as well as other additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Ketchup

You’d find ketchup in almost every home, it serves multipurpose functions in meals. However, you need to watch your consumption. A little ketchup is fine but the several packets we use to consume fries and burgers are problematic, to say the least.

Ketchup is so diluted with so much sugar and salt it contains no nutritional value, you’re literally just eating sugar with your fries.

For a better alternative, make your own ketchup at home. Cut open a tomato paste, mix with vinegar to achieve your preferred consistency. You can choose to flavour with a little bit of salt or sugar, to taste.

 

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Sarah Oyedo

A reader, thinker, a dreamer and a believer. Fruity cocktails and asun are the way to my heart.