Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cutting Processed Foods From Your Diet

I will be the first to admit that cutting out processed foods from my diet is very difficult to do! I have found it easier to cut out meat, which I'm currently doing as well.

Here's how I have started to modify my diet.....I decided to cut out all meats except grilled chicken. I am also trying to strictly limit the amount of processed foods I consume. I try new raw and natural foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. I'm also trying new recipes. I'm not sure if I'll ever be at 100%, but I haven't changed my workout too much and just altered my diet and I've lost 4 pounds in less than 2 weeks! When you sit back and evaluate everything you eat daily, you will be shocked at what is processed! See the "5 Simple Tricks to Avoid Eating Processed Foods" below to get started.

A definition of processed foods is: convenience food that is commercially prepared and designed for ease of consumption. Products designated as convenience food are often prepared and can be sold as hot, ready-to-eat dishes; as room-temperature, shelf-stable products; or as refrigerated or frozen products that require minimal preparation (typically just heating).

Some examples of processed foods are:
  • chocolate & cookies (yes, Oreos too)
  • canned fruits and vegetables
  • cheeses
  • lunch meats
  • macaroni/pasta
  • milk (even soy and almond milk!)
  • potato chips
  • pickles
  • frozen dinners
  • breads (even vegan ones!)
  • ice cream
  • white rice
  • jelly/jams
  • butter
  • French fries
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • pizza
  • energy bars
  • fresh meat with additives
  • cereal--all kinds including the "healthy" ones
  • creamer and sugar you put in your coffee (this one is hard for me!)
So basically, any food that has a label or comes in a box, bag, or can/jar is processed!

Top 5 Scariest Processed Foods:
cake frosting
powdered drink mixes
jarred cheeses
canned lunch meats
chicken nuggets

5 Simple Tricks to Avoid Eating Processed Foods:
  1. Shop parameter of store--most of the least processed foods reside on the outskirts of the grocery store. Try to limit the amount of items you purchase from the center of the store.
  2. Read ingredients labels--if a product is made with an ingredient that you cannot pronounce or is a long list of words that sound like chemicals, DON'T EAT IT!
  3. Demand that restaurants provide a list of what is in their foods! Restaurants are not required to reveal what is in their foods. Most of the foods they prepare are NOT made with fresh ingredients!
  4. Cook for an army on the weekends. Make food ahead of time and freeze it to make your own version of "fast food".
  5. Think simple. Cooking doesn't have to mean cooking gourmet or even cooking at all. Look for recipes that are simple, with only a few ingredients, and find new foods in the process.

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