5 Processed Foods You Can Include In Your Diet

By: Neha Mon, 16 Jan 2023 12:11:42

5 Processed Foods You Can Include in Your Diet

We’re all always being encouraged to be more “healthy” by bloggers, food channels, and that friend who’s a fitness freak. While health has become synonymous with clean eating, salads, and exercise, processed food has become synonymous with salt, preservatives, and all things harmful. But are all processed foods bad for you?

Processed food refers to any food that has been altered from its raw state. This includes its nutritional composition. Methods used for this include canning, freezing, dehydration, refrigeration and aseptic processing. In essence, each time we cook something, we’re processing it.

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# Milk

Milk is one of the few foods that increase in their nutritional quality after being processed. When milk is pasteurized, harmful bacteria that cause illnesses liketyphoid fever, tuberculosis and other food-borne diseases are killed. Raw milk is, in fact, linked to vomiting, diarrhea, fever, body ache, and abdominal pain. Cow’smilk and plant based milk is often fortified to add vitamins and minerals that might be lost during the heating process. These include calcium, B12, protein, and vitamin A. Research shows that a major part of our nutrient intake comes from fortified sources.

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# Frozen Fruits And Vegetables

Frozen fruits and vegetables fall under the “minimally processed” and “basic processed categories.” They are frozen when they are ripe, in season and in their best state. The process of freezing helps keep the food safe from food-borne illnesses and spoilage. It also helps keep their nutrients intact. You can also find options where they are chopped up and zip locked so they’re convenient and economical as well. The catch with these is to find options that don’t have added sugar or salt to them.

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# Nut Butters

Nut butters are all the rage right now. From being included in desserts and smoothie bowls to being spread over bread and apples—there really is no limit to how you can eat nut butters. While peanut butter was the only popular nut butter at one point, today options range from almond, walnut, and cashew to hazelnut and coconut. Nut butters fall somewhere between “minimally processed” and “moderately processed”. Nut butters contain phytochemicals that protect against colon, breast, and prostate cancer. They are also high in protein and healthy fats. The catch with nut butters is to always look for the minimally processed kinds, with the maximum percentage of nuts in them. Some have additives you could do without as well.

processed foods you can include in your diet,Health,healthy living

# Canned Food

Canned food falls in the “basic processed” to “moderately processed” categories and are economical as well as convenient to store and use. While most canned food, including canned beans are high on sodium, canned sea food, particularly salmon has shown to have more nutritional benefits when compared to the fresh kind. Since salmon is preserved in its own oil when being canned, it offers more omega-3 fats. The added bones have further nutritional benefits. Consuming nutrient dense canned food should be a priority. Always look for low-sodium options when you shop for canned food.

processed foods you can include in your diet,Health,healthy living

# Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt falls in the “basic processed” to “highly processed” categories of processed food depending on what is added to it. The process used to set Greek yogurt is different from regular yogurt and the former has a higher protein, lower sodium, and carbohydrate content than the latter. Bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidus are added to Greek yogurt. Regular consumption of it is linked to a healthy digestive and immune system. Watch out for options that contain high sugar and added flavors.

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