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Want to Eat Less Processed Foods? Here Are Some Tips

By Sara Butler

People know that highly processed foods are bad for them, but that doesn't stop them from eating them anyway. Most of the time, this is due to the fact that processed foods are convenient and maybe even a little tasty. Plus, processing happens to many foods, and simply being processed doesn't necessarily make food bad for you. Canned vegetables or frozen fruits, for example, are processed foods that happen to be very healthy choices.

It's the highly processed items full of preservatives, additives, and salt that are bad for your health and you should endeavor to eat less of them. Here are some realistic tips that can help!

Tip No. 1: Have Healthy Snacks Around

Most people reach for processed foods because they're convenient. If you want to eat less of them, then make healthier options more convenient by having some on hand!

Keep your pantry stocked with healthy, portable snacks like nuts, fruit, vegetables, even edamame. You can prep snacks in advance for convenience, too, such as hard-boiled eggs or overnight oats.

Tip No. 2: Go for Whole Grains

You can easily swap out refined grains for whole grains in the things you buy. Ditch the white pasta, tortillas, bread, and rice in favor of whole-grain versions such as brown rice and whole-grain bread and tortillas. You can even find whole-grain pasta or pasta made with beans these days.

Whole grains are high in fiber and can help to protect you from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease if you eat them regularly.

Tip No. 3: Be Creative

You may not be Julia Child in the kitchen or even Guy Fieri, but you can be a little adventurous and make your food a bit healthier with a little effort. Recreate your favorite highly processed foods at home with better ingredients to make them healthier. A good example is potato chips. You can make your own vegetable chips in the oven using potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, and parsnips. Just toss them with some olive oil and bake them until they're as crispy as you want.

Simply think about your favorite highly processed foods and think about what you can do to make them at home in a healthier way.

Tip No. 4: Drink More Water

Perhaps one of the easiest things you can do to be healthier is to drink more water. Cut out the sweetened sodas and fruit juices and simply get more water throughout the day. You can have sparkling water with your own additions if you need a little fizz. Add in some mint, cucumbers, or fresh fruit to give it a little zing.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Woodland Hills, Calif.

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