Processed foods are still a big part of everyday life for some people. However, many of these foods are low in nutrients and come loaded with unhealthy ingredients, which is why it is important to reduce your consumption of these foods and hopefully actioning the following realistic tips will help.
Tip 1: Prepare your snacks in advance
If you often feel like you have little time to make a healthy meal, sometimes grabbing a snack can help keep you satisfied until you do have time. However, ensuring you prepare in advance is the key to snacking healthily and to help avoid consuming lots of processed crisps, chocolate and cakes. Healthy snacks to prepare ahead of time include hard-boiled organic eggs, pre-sliced organic meat (nitrite and nitrate-free), overnight oats and homemade kale crisps.
Tip 2: Choose healthy carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are an important energy source, however, simple processed carbohydrates are not a healthy source of energy. Typically simple carbs are usually found in processed foods and refined grains such as white rice, white pasta, many processed cereals and white tortilla wraps. Healthy types of carbohydrates are those that are complex, meaning they have been minimally processed and still contain a lot of nutrition such as fibre, vitamins and minerals. Healthy complex carbohydrates include whole grain carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole-grain cereal, whole grain bread and whole grain tortilla wraps.
Tip 3: Eat more vegetables
One easy way to eat less processed foods is to include one serving of fresh vegetables with every meal you eat. Vegetables are extremely nutritious being jam-packed with vital minerals and vitamins. Plus, the fibre they are filled with can play a role in keeping blood sugar levels healthy and can allow you to feel fuller for longer, therefore reducing your urge to snack on any processed snacks lying around. Healthy vegetables can be added to scrambled eggs (think broccoli and spinach sautéed), adding pre-soaked chickpeas and cauliflower to a smoothie, and steamed carrots and sweet potatoes go well with a grilled piece of fish.
I hope these simple tips help you to choose more healthy unprocessed foods and remind you why they are important. In a world full of processed food we can avoid a lot of them by simply reading labels and choosing to purchase foods made with whole grains for example, and fresh minimally processed vegetables. A little unprocessed food is not going to be a problem for most people, however, if you find yourself consuming a lot of processed foods then try to implement the above tips to help optimise your diet and health.