If you‘ve been looking at anything about health and diet in the last 30 – 40 years, then you’ve probably heard repeatedly that processed food should only be eaten in strict moderation. This is because researchers have studied the effects of these foods on the body, and their conclusions have raised a lot of concerns among health professionals. This information moves many to avoid these foods, so if you are in line with that thinking, the next few paragraphs will discuss tips for cutting out processed foods.
Where to Start
If you’re anything like most people, reading the ingredient list on many of the prepackaged bags of chips, and individually wrapped burritos and sandwiches sold in stores can be baffling. As your eyes trace the indecipherable long names of chemicals, you probably feel some sort of apprehension, and it turns out that is the right mindset. One simple piece of advice that you can always follow, is to avoid anything that is difficult to pronounce, or looks completely unfamiliar to you. That will keep you from ingesting anything with harsh preservatives. That’s not to say that it is all terrible, but that will give you somewhat of a buffer.
Choose Healthier Brands
While you are learning to create your own sauces and condiments for your food, which are healthier for you and your family, you can try some healthier versions of the sauces and condiments you normally use. They are slowly becoming more common, but you can always find them at specialty stores. Once you’re used to the idea of making your own, you’ll be able to compare your version with the ones you’ve tried.
Foods to Help You Make Healthier Choices:
Coconut oil is extremely versatile. You can use it to add a coconut flavor to foods and baked goods, you can use it to lightly saute veggies and give them a beautiful, fragrant smell and taste.
Coconut oil is also great for tea, smoothies, and can be a great addition to mellow out an intense sauce.
Specialty Cut Veggies
Who would pass on some fun cuts of tasty vegetables? If you have a food processor or a special cutting device that can make pasta shapes out of vegetables, then you have a huge list of great foods that you can make. When you feel like you want some pasta, but veggies are a better idea, then you can get something going with these. Zucchini makes a great noodle. You can also try other vegetables cut into fries or small chunks and lightly roasted in a small amount of olive oil and your choice of seasoning.
Greek yogurt is great for all kinds of projects. You can use it to make everything from salad dressings to sweet treats. It can also be used to make savory dips or spreads for your favorite veggie sticks, multigrain crackers or a small slice of bread.
Potatoes and Squash
These great ground treasures have such a massive role in food all over the world. Sweet potatoes can be prepared in a variety of ways. Baked, roasted, mashed or cut into healthy chips. Regular potatoes are not as healthy as sweet potatoes but can be used in the place of other processed foods.
Squashes make a great base for soup and other innovative ideas. Spaghetti squash has become a noodle replacement in our family. Acorn squash mixed with a few other vegetables like peppers and onions sauteed with lean meat makes an excellent bowl. Butternut squash makes an excellent soup.
These are just a few things you can use instead of the highly-processed foods out there. Try experimenting and coming up with new ideas you can use to have a healthier diet.
I hope you enjoyed this “Health-e-Byte.” Please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you liked about it.
To your health!