How To Avoid Processed Foods in Your Diet
Food is most beneficial to our health and well-being in its natural state.
Courtney Cornwall, Outrun Gravity
Today’s definition of “food” isn’t what it used to be – especially with the abundance of processed foods, like packaged snacks, frozen meals, and fast foods, that have been altered from their natural state through cooking, preservatives, or additives.
While the goal of processing food is to improve its taste or shelf life, the alteration often causes the food to accumulate unhealthy ingredients like sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, while stripping away essential nutrients and potentially increasing your risk of chronic disease.
Food is most beneficial to our health and well-being in its natural state, so here are some tips to avoid processed foods.
Cook At Home Using Fresh Ingredients
The majority of our downfalls with eating an abundance of processed foods is due to eating out too much, so if you cook at home using fresh ingredients, it is much easier to maintain a healthier diet that leaves you feeling fulfilled and refreshed.
Choose Whole Food Ingredients Over Processed Options
Optimizing your dietary choices by purchasing whole food options over processed foods is easier to manage at the ingredient level as opposed to choosing a whole meal.
Read Food Labels
Food labels reveal everything you need to know about the items you choose to eat, so if you can’t understand the ingredients on a food label, that likely means you shouldn’t be eating it.
Shop For Groceries Locally
Farmer’s markets or local produce stands are a great place to search for healthy, whole-food ingredients that lack the processed additives that are found in many grocery store items.
Planning your meals ahead of time can be monumental in helping you avoid the temptation of processed foods and select healthier options. Setting aside time in your week to meal prep and cook a batch of meals to:
- Plan ahead to avoid temptations
- Batch cook meals and freeze them for convenience
- Incorporate healthy snacks into your diet
Avoiding processed foods and sticking to nutrient-dense, healthier options can lead to increased energy, improved mood, better weight management, and a lower risk of chronic disease. For more advice about achieving a balanced diet for optimal health and well-being, contact us at Outrun Gravity for dietary advice from our experienced coaches.