You May Eventually Think Foods Are Too Sweet Or Too Salty
You arent going to suddenly dislike a favorite dessert overnight, but in time, those cravings you experience for packaged snacks or manufactured sweets may die down.”Dont get discouraged if it takes time to transition to a less processed lifestyle, says Weber. “Theres always a learning curve, especially if youre a junk food junkie.”Start by becoming an avid nutrition label reader: “Check the ingredient lists to know exactly what is being added to your foods,” she says. “Limit high-salt foods and steer clear of hydrogenated oils or foods that have one of the first ingredients listed as sugar.
Once you cut back on hidden sources of sodium and sugar, your body should start to develop a “taste” for the whole stuff. And dont give up if you have a setback it just takes time. “When you cut out high-sugar and high-salt foods, your taste buds take some time to adjust, Weber explains, adding that it can take 10 to 15 days for taste buds to regenerate. Eventually, after ditching processed stuff for a couple weeks, you may find that items with added sugar or salt actually taste overly sweet or salty.
Eat Less Processed Meat
Processed meats like bacon, sausage, lunch meat, and hot dogs are associated with several downsides and even classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer .
Youll be glad to hear that there are plenty of easy ways to cut back on processed meat.
For starters, you can simply swap these foods for less processed varieties of meat, such as fresh chicken, salmon, or turkey. You can also replace packaged lunch meats with other sandwich fillings, including tuna salad, chicken breast, or hard-boiled eggs.
Alternatively, you can eat more plant-based proteins, such as beans, lentils, tofu, or tempeh.
You’ll Lower Your Risk Of Type Ii Diabetes
Research referenced in the Zero Sugar Diet states that for every 5 percent of total calories you eat from added sugars, your risk of diabetes hikes up by a whopping 18 percent. So if you gobble up around 1,800 calories a day, your maximum amount of daily added sugar intake should be around 24 grams. Guzzle down an 8-ounce serving of Coke, and you’ll rack up two more grams than you should!
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What Makes Some Processed Foods Less Healthy
Salt, sugar and saturated fat are often added to processed foods for a variety of reasons, like making foods taste more appealing or to extend its shelf life. However, eating higher levels of salt, sugar and saturated fat than is recommended can increase our risk of heart disease.
Take sweet corn as an example. When found in nature, sweet corn is cooked and eaten straight off the cob. Corn kernels might also be canned or frozen, which means the sweet corn has undergone some processing but is still close to its natural form. On the other hand, sweet corn is used to manufacture corn-based products like corn chips and cornflakes. These foods are less like they are found in nature, lower in fibre and more likely to contain added saturated fat, sugar and salt.
The Best Basic Tips For Cutting Out Processed Foods
With everyone being busier than ever before, the demand for quick meals, convenient snacks, and fast food, even in the form of seemingly healthy energy bars is only growing. Although most individuals would agree eating whole foods is healthier for them, the reality is few actually take the time to grow and prepare their food from scratch. But one of the best ways to clean up one’s diet is to work on consuming less processed food. The ideal, though, is to not consume anything processed. It can seem daunting to reduce one’s consumption of processed food. The good news is there are some simple tips to get everyone on the right track.
Let’s get into the best basic tips for cutting out processed food now, starting with understanding what processed food is in the first place.
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What Makes Most Processed Food Unhealthy
Processed foods often include substances that are not found in typical home-cooked meals substances such as dyes, artificial flavors, non-sugar sweeteners, and preservatives. Processed foods also lack many of the key nutrients that your body needs, including fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and various vitamins and minerals. For examples of processed foods and a deeper dive into how they can affect the body, read our article.
Sugar can be found in many sweeteners: table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, and agave. Consuming excessive amounts of any of these sweeteners can increase your risk of weight gain and chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. While obesity can significantly increase a persons risk of developing these diseases, Dr. Lustig said that people who do not have overweight or obesity can still be at risk for chronic conditions, particularly if they are eating more processed foods. As if the heightened risk for complications is not bad enough, sugar consumption has also been shown to speed up aging.
Why You Should Avoid Sugar
There are many reasons why you should avoid the sweet stuff:
- It makes the body produce less leptin
- It disrupts how amino acids transfer to muscles
- It spurs insulin resistance, which can lead to Type II diabetes
- It induces oxidative stress
Not all sugar is terrible for you. Natural sources like that from fruit, honey, and maple syrup arent as bad as from processed sugars and HFCS but its still possible to overdo it. Theres no reason to cut all fruit out of your diet in an attempt to remove all sugar youd be giving up all those antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, minerals, and vitamins at the same time.
So now you know WHY you should avoid sugar and which types are worse how about some tips on how to do it?
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Good Carbs Vs Bad Carbs
Carbohydrates are one of your bodys main sources of energy. Health organizations such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates. However, the majority of these should be from complex, unrefined carbs rather than refined carbs .
Unlike simple carbs, complex carbohydrates are digested slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood sugar. Theyre usually high in nutrients and fiber, which can help prevent serious disease, aid with weight-loss, and improve your energy levels. In general, good carbohydrates have a lower glycemic load and can even help guard against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems in the future.
Good carbs include:
Unrefined whole grains whole wheat or multigrain bread, brown rice, barley, quinoa, bran cereal, oatmeal.
Non-starchy vegetables spinach, green beans, Brussels sprouts, celery, tomatoes.
Legumes kidney beans, baked beans, peas, lentils.
Nuts peanuts, cashews, walnuts.
Fruit apples, berries, citrus fruit, bananas, pears.
What is the glycemic index and glycemic load?
Not That Mrs Fields Semi
Nutrition per 1 cookie : 220 calories, 11 g fat , 160 mg sodium, 28 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 2 g proteinNumber of ingredients: 41
So, besides the fact that Mrs. Fields cookies are monstrously sized , they’re primarily full of semi-sweet chocolate chips . Let’s compare ingredients, shall we? Mrs. Fields uses processed fats while these homemade cookies use unprocessed coconut oilwhich is full of lauric acid, a healthy saturated fat that converts into energy more easily than other types of fat. Mrs. Fields uses emulsifiers like soybean lecithin and xanthan gum. You use eggs. They use enriched bleached flour that could be contaminated with heavy metals and has been stripped of all nutritional value, you use freshly ground, fiber-rich oat flour. Which would you rather eat now?
Make it at home! via Chelsea’s Messy Apron.
Phase : Reduce Hidden Sugars
Time: 1 to 2 weeks
Why: Dressings, sauces, and condiments may seem to merely add some flavor to your food, but they often add sugars that can work against you. A small amount of some condiments can add whole grams of sugar to your meal. Furthermore, we usually dont use only one packet of sweet-and-sour sauce or ketchup instead, we douse our food in these sugar-rich add-ons. Consequently, you might think that youre doing all you can to reduce the amount of sugars youre consuming, but that might not be the case if you continue to eat foods with hidden sugars.
Note that there are many foods that appear to be diet foods that actually might be bad to eat for your new eating plan. Many foods labeled as diet, low-fat, or no-fat replace the fat content with more carbohydrates. We tend to see low-fat and think this is a healthy option, but if low-fat is a synonym for high-sugar, then it is clearly a no-no.
There are also products on the market now that are labeled sugar-free, which appeal to people who are either diabetic or trying to restrict their sugar intake. Proceed cautiously with these products as well. While these products may indeed be sugar-free, they may still contain a lot of fast-metabolizing carbohydrates.
Other Breakfast Changes Were In Store Too My Processed Sweetened Single
Instant oats have been processed into chopped up bits so they cook faster, and have a softer texture. They also can include colorants and preservatives, which were both off limits for me, and they tend to have many, many ingredients listed on the back of the packet .
When I ended up wanting oatmeal for breakfast during the unprocessed month, I went for the whole oat kind. As a result, I didn’t add any sugar which definitely made those breakfasts healthier than they would’ve been if I had just gone for what was convenient.
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What Is Processed Sugar
Also known as refined sugar, processed sugar has been extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets. This chemically produced sugar is typically added to premade foods like crackers, soda and even salad dressing to add flavor. However, processed sugar has little nutritional value and is high in calories.
Per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended that no more than 10% of calories should come from added sugars. Simpson said.
However, not all sugar is bad. Natural sugars, like those found in fruit, have an important role in our diet. Furthermore, fruits provide essential nutrients that can prevent disease. You can use the next 6 swaps to reduce your processed sugar intake.
Why Do We Crave Sugar
First, it’s good to know we’re not lacking in self-control or willpower when it comes to sugar cravings. “Our biological addiction to sugar comes from primitive neurochemical reward centers in our brains that light up when we consume sugar,” Jackson explains. “These reward centers used to help keep us alive by signaling to our bodies that we need to eat more sugar to put on fat and stay alive when food was scarce. Now, food is everywhere, yet our bodies are still programmed to consume sugar when we see it.” To counteract this natural response, Jackson says, “it’s important for us to set our bodies up to control these cravings through a healthy diet and lifestyle.”
But that doesn’t mean quitting sugar all at once. “Start by recognizing how much sugar is in the food you are currently eating. Read the labels, look for ‘hidden sugars’ and stick to more whole foods, advises OConnor. Then, wean yourself off by consuming less of the breads, crackers, chips, and even energy bars, some of which are practically candy bars in disguise.” Consuming less sweet and processed foods is the goal, but she cautions against depriving yourself entirely. “Although it can be tricky, youve got to stick to your plan. Cold turkey may be easier in the short term because your body isnt responding to sugars incessant and nagging effect on the brain and the body. Still, in most cases, deprivation can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, and in some cases, binging.”
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Removing Processed Foods And Sugar From Your Diet
Its no secret that fresh, wholesome foods are better for you than foods that are processed, but just how easy is it remove processed foods from your diet? Processed foods are convenient, but convenience usually means large amounts of hidden sodium, fats, and sugar, which are always bad news.
While we typically think of cookies, candy and chips as processed foods, you may be surprised to learn there are actually more hidden processed culprits than you might realize. Processed foods can include everything from canned foods, pre-made salads, frozen pizza, salad dressings, deli meats, breakfast cereal, store-bought baked goods, soda, juices, crackers and even yogurt.
According to a recent study in the British Medical Journal, more than half of Americans eat ‘ultra-processed foods that make up a majority of their diet. These processed foods contain large amounts of sugar, and have been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
So how can you remove processed foods from your diet, or at least cut back? The secret is in the bag and the box. Basically any food that comes in a bag or a box is processed, so before you buy it, decide if you can make a natural alternative at home.
Below are a few tips to help you get started in removing processed foods from your diet:
Some People Rely On Processed Food
In addition to all this, lots of people dont have realistic access to fresh food. 12 percent of Americans are food insecure right now thats 1 in 8 people who cant afford enough nutritious food to meet their needs. They rely on processed foods. Theyre less expensive. They stay good for longer . Theyre easy to make .
Including nutritious foods often isnt a priority when someone is worried about whether or not theyll have enough food to feed their family.
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Added Sugar Is Just Empty Calories
Your body gets all the sugar it needs from the sugar that naturally occurs in foodfructose in fruit or lactose in milk, for example. All the sugar added to processed food offers no nutritional valuebut just means a lot of empty calories that can sabotage any healthy diet, contribute to weight gain, and increase your risk for serious health problems.
Again, its unrealistic to try to eliminate all sugar and empty calories from your diet. The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than 100 calories per day for women and 150 calories per day for men. If that still sounds like a lot, its worth remembering that a 12-ounce soda contains up to 10 teaspoons of added sugarsome shakes and sweetened coffee drinks even more.
The average American currently consumes 19.5 teaspoons of added sugar each day, often without realizing it. By becoming more aware of the sugar in your diet, you can cut down to the recommended levels and make a huge difference to the way you look, think, and feel.
How Much Is Too Much
Added sugars should make up less than 10% of a healthy daily diet. Thats about 11 teaspoons if you eat 1,800 calories a day. Some experts recommend even less than that: 9 teaspoons per day for men, and 6 teaspoons for women. A single 12-ounce can of soda has 39 grams of sugar, close to a days worth by any measure.
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Not That Newman’s Own Alfredo Sauce
Nutrition per ½ cup: 180 calories, 16 g fat , 820 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 2 g proteinNumber of ingredients: 17
Alfredo sauce on a bed of chicken and pasta is a comfort food go-to choicebut it’s usually ridiculously loaded with carb-heavy fats. As for Newman’s Own? It’s also soybean oils, cane sugar, gum arabic, guar gum, and obscure ingredients like “enzyme” and “natural flavor.” While even a homemade alfredo using heavy cream and cheese would be better than this ultra-processed junk, be creative and use cooked cauliflower. By just blending with sauteed garlic and onion, vegetable stock, milk, and cheese, it lightens the dish and drops the preservatives and calories. Get more ideas with what to do with cauliflower, in these 17 Genius Ideas for Cooking With Cauliflower.
Make it at home! via Pinch of Yum.
Not That Lean Cuisine Enchilada Suiza
Nutrition per package : 280 calories, 4 g fat , 520 mg sodium, 51 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 10 g proteinNumber of ingredients: 40+
These tantalizing frozen options are marketed as nutritious and convenient, so we can’t say we blame you. But many of them are healthy-eating enemies in disguise. Just because they’re touted as portion controlled and low calorie, doesn’t mean you should stock up on these. Like this Lean Cuisine, many frozen prepared entrees pack a surprising amount of sugar7 grams! Not only that, the 40 plus ingredient list is just completely unnecessary, and will fill you up with all processed foods. If you’re really in a rush, pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store, along with zucchinis, onion, a bag of frozen corn and a can of tomatoes. Just a few seasonings from your spice drawer, topped off with shredded cheese, and you’ve got yourself a filling, healthy, preservative-free meal.
Make it at home! via Cooking Classy.