Sometimes, it can be tempting to reach for processed foods. They are easier to cook, last longer in your cupboards, and are often sweeter (or saltier!) than natural foods. They can be especially tempting when you’re shopping at the grocery store. Aisle after aisle is full of ready to go meals and tasty looking snacks. When you’re trying to shed the pounds, though, your best bet is to avoid processed foods altogether. Why? They are often high in calories and low in nutrients. The reality is that often health is sacrificed in place of convenience.
Here’s the truth about processed foods. They may be faster to cook – and some may even have fewer calories than your healthier favourites – but processed foods are not a good choice when you’re trying to live healthy and get in shape. Wondering what foods in your kitchen are the biggest offenders? This list of the worst processed foods for you to eat will give you a little insight.
The first on the list might come as a shock, but foods with low-fat claims can be just as bad for you as any other processed foods. On the surface, they are a good way to reduce your caloric or fat intake. Keep in mind, though, they also have increased amounts of sugar and salt to give otherwise bland food more flavour. That means low-fat foods aren’t always the healthy option you think they are. To eat well (and rev up your weight loss plan) skip over those pre-packaged low-fat cookies, chips, and salad dressings. They won’t do you any good.
You’ve had a long day at work and all you want to do is sit in front of the TV and catch up on your favourite show. Sounds great! On those days, cooking probably isn’t high up on your priority list. Instead of making something healthy for dinner, you are more likely to just toss in a frozen microwavable dinner. Mistake! Even lower calorie options or smaller portion sizes are heavily processed. That means high sodium levels, low nutrients, and lots and lots of preservatives. Plan your meals ahead of time or do some prep work before you leave for work in the morning. It will make you less likely to choose a processed meal at the end of your day.
Do you love hot dogs, bologna, and other processed meats? You’re not alone. Every day, people all over North America include these foods in their diet. There can be serious consequences when you choose to eat them, though. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, many processed meats contain preservatives that have been linked to colon cancer risks. In addition, processed meats are usually high in cholesterol, fats, and salt. Not a good combination. Instead of grabbing packaged meat, choose fresh lean meats instead. You can get the same taste you love without putting your health on the line. Plus, with less salt and fat in every bite, your waistline will appreciate the switch, too!
Processed foods are not your friend. They may be an easy choice, but they won’t do you any favours in the long run. Take your health and weight loss journey seriously by limiting the amount of processed foods you buy. A few simple changes to your lifestyle can end up making a world of difference.