This is how you can Ditch Processed Food

By:Vasudha Bhat, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Dec 20, 2014

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Avoiding processed foods is essential and almost all of us are aware of it. But, the sad part is that none of us know how to choose "real foods" over processed foods. Here is some help for you.
  • 1

    This is How you Do it!

    Eating healthy and "real foods" tops the to-do-list of almost every human being under the sun. All of us are aware that we should be eating more "whole" and "natural" foods and ditch processed items. However, determining what is natural and what is processed is a tough job, which makes shopping for "real" foods difficult. Not only do processed foods sabotage your health but they also reduce your intake of whole foods. What makes processed foods unhealthy for consumption is the alteration made to them so that they can contain preservatives and chemical additives and also for their calories. But, do not worry. Here are few simple tips that will help you ditch processed foods so that you can opt for some more nutrient-laden options.

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  • 2

    Check the Ingredient Label

    Most of us check the nutrition label for fat and sugar content in the food. But the one common mistake which all of us make is skipping the ingredient label, which can indicate how processed a food is. If your favourite food contains more than 5 ingredients and you come across some unfamiliar items that look like chemical additives then your food is most certainly processed.

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  • 3

    Pick Foods without Packaging

    Whole foods, which comprise of fresh vegetables, fruits, fresh herbs, meats and fish, nuts etc. are usually sold without any industrial packaging. Such items must find a place in your shopping cart. Replace canned and frozen fruits, fruit sauces, jellies, jams, pie fillings and packaged fruit juices with farm fresh fruits. Similarly, ditch canned and frozen vegetables, French fries, ketchup and mustard and choose fresh vegetables instead.

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  • 4

    Look for Locally Grown Produce

    People living in urban areas are in a habit of hitting the supermarkets to stock their kitchen with the monthly grocery. This can land packaged food items in your house. Ditch this habit and buy foods from your local grocery stall. Supermarkets have frozen vegetables and fruits so that they can make it available even in off season. But when you buy it from a local grocery stall, you will get groceries only in the season which is when they are the most nutritious. You must also buy bread, biscuits and milk products from local bakery and diary and your meat and fish from local meat shop.

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  • 5

    Opt for Whole Grains

    Whole grains are rich in nutrient and fibre. Hence, you must avoid all white grains and flour and choose brown rice, quinoa, oats and whole grains. When these whole grains go under processing and the flour is refined, the nutrients get misplaced and the calories become more concentrated. So, whenever possible choose whole grains over white grains.

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  • 6

    Always Cook your Own Food

    Cooking your own meals is always a better choice because it gives you full control over what you eat. By doing this you can choose whole ingredients and avoid the processed foods in your diet. You shouldn’t worry about your cooking skills because to cook a healthy meal you don’t need those. You can pick easy recipes and techniques to cook a healthy yet delicious meal.

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  • 7

    Have Space for Fruits and Vegetables on your Plate

    Eating fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal can boost your digestion system. However, there is an undeniable fact that most of us skip eating them. To make sure that you consume the maximum amount of fruits and vegetables, limit the quantity of other food items on your plate and leave some space for the greenery. By doing this you will not only limit your calorie intake but you could also consume the necessary nutrients found in fruits and vegetables.

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  • 8

    Do not Eat Products with High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

    Most of you might not be aware of the ingredient found in many of your food products. The products with HFCS are worse than white sugar and all they contain is calories. If you check thoroughly and find a HFCS content on the ingredient label, you must be sure that your food has been processed. You will be surprised to know that the apparently healthy breakfast cereals might also contain HFCS. Other food products that you must check before consuming are packaged ice team fruit punch, lemonade, packaged milk, natural soda, buttermilk etc.

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