Is There Still Goodness in Our Food ?
With all of the processed foods that Americans eat, many people wonder how much goodness is still left in our foods. Many processed foods contain preservatives and other chemicals that make them taste good and look good. Unfortunately, during the processing, many nutrients are removed from the foods.
Food That Isn’t Food
Processed foods are made in factories and they are often made with ingredients that are not really foods at all. Food like Cheez Whiz, Velveeta, and Lunchables have so many unnatural chemicals, flavorings and other ingredients, that they are practically not foods anymore.
Food Made Healthy During Processing
Even though there are so many foods that are processed with unnatural ingredients, there are other processed foods that become healthier and safer as they are processed. Technically, when milk is pasteurized, it is processed. When vegetables and fruits are canned, they are processed. Sometimes canned vegetables or frozen vegetables can actually retain their vitamins and minerals longer than fresh fruits and vegetables that have to travel long distances to get to your grocery store.
Avoid Fat Free or Low Fat
Some of the most misleading processed foods are those that are label low fat or fat free. These are foods that have had nutrients removed to make the calories and fat content lower. Rather than eating these types of foods, it is better to just eat all natural foods like fresh fruits and vegetables that are already low in fat and calories.
Healthy Convenience Foods
Some processed foods are very healthy and are made for your convenience. Some of the commonly processed foods that you buy at the grocery store are processed. They include premade salsas, baked breads, birthday cakes, and technically, even steaks and other meat products. So, do these retain their nutritional value? It depends. If you choose a baked bread that is made from whole grains, then yes. If you choose breads that are made from refined sugars, corn syrup, and bleached wheat, then probably not.
Read the Ingredients
The best way to tell if a processed food is still good for you is to read the ingredients. If you can read, pronounce, and understand the ingredients list, then the ingredients will still be nutritional. If you do not know where the ingredients originated and you cannot pronounce the ingredients, then most likely there is not any nutritional value in the food at all.
Another consideration with processed foods is where the food came from, because of the fact that the food could have genetically engineered seeds. Many seeds have been modified to make them resistant to insecticides and other chemicals that are used during the growing stage.
Local and Safe
One way to ensure that your foods are not made from engineered foods or that they contain unhealthy, toxic chemicals, then you should only buy food from local growers and local grocers. When you know the growers and processors, then you know exactly what goes into the manufacturing of your food.
Reading ingredients and knowing where you food comes from is the best way to ensure that you are eating food full of quality nutrients.