Eating well is an essential component to feeling well. The old saying, “You are what you eat”, certainly may not be literal, but it’s filled with truth nonetheless. Many of the health problems we find ourselves and friends encountering, diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, etc. are directly connected to the foods we eat on a regular basis. This should certainly be an encouraging fact to take a second look at what we put into our bodies. In fact having a balanced diet will not only keep us strong and healthy, but will build up a defense of possible diseases we can contract. Eating the right foods on a regular basis can fortify us against everything from Alzheimer’s to cancer.
Often we may eat food that’s labeled as “processed” goods. We use and hear this term quite often, but it’s rarely defined in simple terms. According to Healthy Eating.com, “The definition of what constitutes a processed food can vary slightly, but it usually refers to foods that are packaged in boxes, cans or bags. These foods need to be processed extensively to be edible and are not found as is in nature.” Foods that have been tampered with including additives, coloring, artificial flavorings, and various chemical ingredients can all be considered processed. This can easily be determined by looking at the ingredients on the back of the food packaging. Things to look out for are ingredient lists that include hydrogenated oils, Trans fats, and corn oil. These are all products that have undergone intense processing, and can negatively impact your health. They’ve undergone bleaching and de-odorizing, processes which are all unnatural to healthy foods. Even when you see foods that seem healthy on the surface, such as Low fat products, it’s important to be cautious. Many of these foods contain chemical ingredients to simulate the flavor and texture of fat. Low-fat cheese, yogurt and milk also go through extensive processing to remove natural fat. The same watchful eye should be applied to everyday grains. Although many people believe that grains are natural and healthy, most grain products have undergone extensive processing before they end up on the dinner table. Humans are not able to digest grains harvested right out of the field, which is why they were not part of the human diet in such large amounts. The everyday grain products we purchase and consume are the recent products of food manufacturing and engineering.
An alternative to this kind of unhealthy processing which usually involves thermal or chemical methods is the utilization of pressure. High pressure processing or HPP is an alternative to thermal processing or chemical processing which leaves foods in a more natural state. HPP foods contain no traces of chemicals or radiation that are used in other processing methods. This preserves your body’s long-term health. This allows consumers to truly take control of their diets, and what ultimately ends up on their plates. You can skip past all the products on shelves that claim to be healthy, as they gradually mow down our health. With a little research and effort whole unprocessed foods can definitely take on the same variety as some of our favorite dishes without the negative side effects. It’s important to keep your eyes on the ingredients of everything you buy, and as a rule of thumb, if you can’t find it in the average kitchen, it probably isn’t good for you.