Research after research has shown that processed foods are bad for our health. They are loaded with sugar and fructose corn syrup, which can lead to insulin resistance, increased bad cholesterol, and accumulation of fat in the liver and abdominal cavity. They also lack the essential nutrients and energy needed by the body. And the worst, they contain all sorts of artificial ingredients (e.g. preservatives, colorants, flavorants and texturants) that can be harmful to health. So, if you want to live healthy this year, start cutting off processed foods from your diet. Here are a few tips to help you eat clean.
Know the difference between real food and processed food
Obviously, most foods you see in groceries and markets are processed – milk is pasteurized and bottled, and ground beef has been grounded in a machine. But when talking about “processed foods,” we’re talking about those foods that have been chemically altered, processed and made from artificial ingredients. Examples of which are sodas, French fries, and deli meats.
Go for real beverages
Starting today, limit your drink choices to “real” beverages – i.e. water, milk, tea, coffee and fresh fruit juices. Avoid colas, power drinks, instant juices, coffees, lemonades and many other sugary drinks.
Choose fresh meat
While deli meats, such as sausages and meatloaves, are tempting and convenient, there are a number of reasons why you should avoid them. One is that they increase your risk to cardiovascular disease by 70%. Even those deli sandwiches, which include refined grains, low fat cheeses and low fat deli meats that are promoted as healthy, can increase your risk to the disease by 8% per serving.
Take a Fast from Fast Food
Fast food is addictive and it can make you fat. A 15-year study participated by over 3,000 people found that eating fast food can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain. Also, one study found that most fast food has potentially addictive substance that can create fast food dependence in vulnerable population. So starting today, take a fast from fast food. Limit it to at least once a month. Your body will thank you for it.