Does Processed Food Have Any Nutritional Value?

List: Posted: 08/15/11

One of the fundamentals for a healthy lifestyle is to eat a balanced diet.  The right nutrition can keep your body healthy and can work to prevent certain diseases or health problems.  By carefully selecting the food you choose to eat, you can improve your overall health considerably.

 

One confusing part of making dietary decisions is the mystery behind processed food.  Is it really that bad for you, and should you avoid it to stay in optimum health?

The fact is, many processed foods are entirely devoid of nutritional content and can actually be harmful if eaten in excess due to the light sodium, fat and sugar content.  It's important to remember that not all processed food is bad, but certainly most of it is worth avoiding.  After all, food that is processed can include many healthy and necessary foods, such as milk, frozen vegetables, or orange juice fortified with calcium.

Educating yourself about processed food will help you avoid the foods that are unhealthy.  Some of the processed foods to avoid include canned vegetables, white breads or pastas, fast food, processed meats and foil packaged snack foods, like cookies and chips.   Processed food like this is unhealthy because, for the most part, the nutritional content of the food is almost entirely removed during processing.  They are often very high in sodium and preservatives, which can be very unhealthy for your kids as well as for you.

Methods for processing food can include dehydration, freezing, canning and refrigeration.  Although not all processed foods are bad, most of them should be avoided.  There simply is no substitute for fresh fruits and vegetables from your local farmer's market or grocery store.  Having control over the additives in your food is the best way to improve your health and enjoy a more nutritionally sound diet.

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