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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

9 Realistic Ways to Eat Fewer Processed Foods



While processed foods can have a place in a healthy diet if consumed in moderation, many make up a dangerously large part of our diet.

In general, processed foods are anything that has been changed from their original state, whether through cooking, freezing, canning, drying, or packaging. Conversely, whole foods are those that come closer to this original state, such as fresh vegetables or unrefined whole grain products. Frozen, canned or dried products – such as frozen or canned vegetables and dried beans – are considered “minimally processed” and still retain a good portion of their nutrients, as do milk, whole-grain bread, etc.

Many processed foods – especially those that are highly processed such as packaged snacks, frozen foods, and sugary beverages – have negative consequences for both the environment and our health. Such products are usually shipped in plastic packaging that eventually ends up in landfills and waterways. When a food is processed it also loses a lot of nutrients, which wastes that energy and results in a less nutritious product. Take corn for example: Fresh corn on the cob is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and nutrients. When the corn is processed further from its original form – such as canned, frozen and packaged, or made into highly processed foods like chips and corn flakes – it loses many of these vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Processed foods also typically contain more salt, sugar, and saturated fat than whole foods, as well as additives and preservatives to extend their shelf life and preserve flavor.

Eating less processed foods is of course a privilege; Access to fresh food is often limited by location, cost, and other factors, and marginalized communities tend to have limited access to whole foods.

If you are able to change your eating habits, here are some realistic ways to cut down on processed foods in your daily life.

1. Replace refined grains with whole grains

Refined grain products – like white pasta, rice, and bread – are stripped of most of their vitamins and minerals during processing, leaving behind a far less nutritious product.

However, whole grains are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and proteins, keep you full longer and have been shown to lower the risk of various conditions such as stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Try replacing refined grains in your diet with whole grains by replacing white rice with brown and buying whole wheat pasta, bread, and tortillas.

2. Drink more water


Sugary drinks are usually very high in calories, but they provide very few nutrients. Soft drinks like soda, sports drinks, soda, and powdered drinks are also often supplied in single-use bottles and contribute to the huge amounts of plastic waste that the United States creates every day.

Sometimes you crave a sports drink or can of soda (we all do), but shaking the daily habit is a relatively easy way to cut down on highly processed items in your diet. Fill jugs of water with fruits and herbs – maybe try new creative combinations – to enjoy all day in place of soda or sugary juice, or invest in a soda water maker for a packet-free carbonated drink.

3. Take smaller shopping trips

If you go to the grocery store frequently, try to only buy what you need every few days (or even every day). This way, you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables without worrying about spoilage or worrying about your next visit to the store.

Purchasing just a few items at a time also saves money; You won’t be tempted to stock up on things that you may not really need.

If you can’t make frequent purchases, buy frozen vegetables to keep handy, or save money and plastic by freezing your own: broccoli, spinach, fruit, or your favorite vegetable combination for easy toss in the pan.

4. Make your own (healthier) snacks and staples

granola bar


You don’t have to go without all the foods you love! Replace processed foods with homemade kitchen utensils and your favorite snacks.

Try making your own vegetable chips, crackers, popcorn, granola bars, and trail mix. They’re healthier, more nutritious, and free of preservatives. Pack snacks in reusable Ziploc bags or Tupperware so that you can take them with you on the go as easily as store-bought alternatives.

Take stock of your kitchen and the staples you always have with you – like nut butters, flavored yogurt, ice cream, and salad dressing – and try to make some of your own. Or, if you’re short on time (or don’t particularly enjoy spending time in the kitchen), replace the processed option with an unprocessed one. Try swapping out sugary breakfast cereals for oatmeal or flavored yogurt for plain fruit.

5. Add more fresh foods to your meals

To keep highly processed foods off your plate, fill it up with vegetables.

For extra nutrients, add simple fruits and vegetables to meals: spinach in eggs or breakfast potatoes, bulky vegetables in casseroles or taco stuffing (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), and sliced ​​fruits in oat oats. These fresh foods take up more space in your meal and replace refined grains or other less healthy ingredients.

Greens such as kale, pak choi, Swiss chard or spinach can be prepared as a simple side dish (or wither in the main course, like a pasta sauce). Have these frozen vegetables ready for easy toss in the pot.

6. Read labels

Woman shopping for groceries in the supermarket and reading the nutrition label on a packet of cheese?

d3sign / Moment / Getty Images

Of course, we all still buy packaged, long-life products in the supermarket. Be sure to read the labels on whatever you pull off the shelf and compare the ingredients of the products before deciding which product to add to your cart.

A good rule of thumb is to look at the first three ingredients on the label as they will tell you what the bulk of the product is made up of. The 3S – salt, sodium, and saturated fat – are a pretty good indication that the product is highly processed and not very healthy, whatever their kinky names may be. Hydrogenated oils (also called trans fats) and refined grains are usually red flags too. Be sure to check the serving size too; Daily readings and calories may seem low, but the serving size could be deceptively small.

7. Be careful with advertisements

When checking these labels, look for false or misleading information on the packaging.

When it comes to cereals, don’t be fooled by phrases like “multigrain” or “made with whole grains”; Two grains (potentially refined grains) are still considered “multi” and very few whole grains can be mixed in. “Low-fat,” “low-carb,” and “low-calorie” foods can still be very highly processed and contain other unhealthy ingredients (like sugar) to compensate. “Gluten-free” and “organic” also do not necessarily mean that the product is healthy (organic sugar is still sugar).

If the first three ingredients don’t have whole foods, they are likely very small amounts.

8. Meal preparation

Containers for the preparation of meals


Cooking and eating at home is a great way to avoid processed foods – but preparing three meals a day isn’t always realistic, and fast food or ready-made meals can be tempting if you’re short on time.

Prepare staples in advance that can be mixed and matched for meals during the week, such as brown rice, roasted vegetables, homemade pasta sauces, and fruit salad.

If you prefer frozen dinners on busy evenings, freeze entire meals to treat them like the ones you could buy at the grocery store. Wrap meals in microwave-safe Tupperware to save on dishes too. You can enjoy much healthier, minimally processed meals without having to cook every day.

9. Just put in

Don’t make big changes to your diet all at once. If you consume a significant amount of processed foods during the week, try changing aspects of your diet gradually rather than staying completely cold. Start by replacing your sugary cereal with oatmeal a few days a week before making it a daily habit, or tackle your snacking tendencies before moving on to dinner. Making these changes all at once is difficult and can be a recipe for discouragement.

Diet and health are different for everyone; Don’t compare your eating habits and desires with those around you. Listen to your body and what it needs – sometimes white pasta or fries – and develop habits that suit you.

Linnea graduated from Skidmore College in 2019 with a Bachelor of English and Environmental Studies and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Most recently, Linnea worked at Hunger Free America and interned at WHYY in Philadelphia, Saratoga Living Magazine and the Sierra Club in Washington, DC.

Linnea loves to hike and spend time outdoors, reading, practicing her German and doing volunteer work on farms and gardens as well as environmental justice efforts in her community. In addition to journalism, she is also an essayist and author of creative non-fiction books.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Popular Frozen Foods That Help You Lose Weight, Say Dietitians



Filling your freezer with healthy foods is one of the smartest strategies you can use when trying to shed a few pounds. Think of it this way: when you have frozen products and lean protein with you, you have a convenient, nutritious meal option – meaning you are less likely to resort to those processed snacks or high-calorie take-away items.

The best, Most foods do not lose any of their nutritional value when frozen, So you can be sure that your body is taking advantage of these vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.

Nonetheless, not all frozen foods are created equal – at least from a health perspective. While some products can help you lose weight, others can do just the opposite thanks to high levels of fat and sodium. So if you’re looking to lose weight, we recommend adding a handful of popular frozen food dieters to your shopping list.


When in need of a simple weekday dinner after a long day at work, it’s hard to beat a veggie burger. Many of them are crammed with high-fiber vegetables and whole grains, and some even have a protein content comparable to that of meat. That means you’ll feel full for hours, says Melissa Mitri, RD for Wellness Verge.

“They usually only have 150 calories or less, which makes them a solid choice for a weight loss plan,” says Mitri. “Also, research shows that consuming more plant-based foods can aid weight loss and overall health.”

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frozen edamameShutterstock

Frozen edamame serves as a phenomenal afternoon snack or as a high-fiber addition to stir-fries, grain bowls, and salads. And at around 17 grams of protein per cup, it’s one of the most filling plant-based snacks around. This is what Gabbie Ricky, MS, RDN strongly recommends keeping some edamame in your freezer. Did we mention that research shows that eating a high protein diet helps control your appetite and aid in sustained weight loss?

frozen spinachShutterstock

With little to no fat and high in fiber, it’s no wonder why spinach is a popular weight loss food. Fresh spinach can wilt in the refrigerator after just a few days, which is why it is worth buying it frozen – so you always have something to hand for side dishes, casseroles and more.

“Frozen spinach can be easily added to a variety of dishes including pastas, smoothies, and soups,” says Holly Klamer, MS, a registered nutritionist with MyCrohn’sandColitisTeam.

A 2015 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that obese adults adding 5 grams of spinach extract to their meal reduced their appetite and craving for food for several hours. Another 2014 study in Appetite found that consuming 5 grams of spinach extract daily resulted in 43% greater weight loss than a placebo. This effect can likely be attributed to the thylakoids – plant membranes associated with a greater feeling of satiety because they delay fat digestion.

In other words, spinach can help you eat less by suppressing your appetite, which can lead to weight loss in the long run. Here’s an important effect of eating spinach, science says.

greek yoghurt barsShutterstock

When your sweet tooth strikes, you definitely want to have a box of these creamy goodies in your freezer, says Sarah Williams, MS, RD, Founder of Sweet Balance Nutrition.

“Greek frozen yogurt bars are a great low-calorie dessert option for weight loss,” she explains. “When people try to lose weight, they often avoid sweets altogether – which usually leads to burnout. Instead, add small treats regularly to keep them from feeling deprived during weight loss. “

As an added bonus, since they’re made from yogurt, these frozen treats often come with a healthy dose of protein and bowel-boosting probiotics.

frozen berriesShutterstock

Storing berries in the freezer is a good idea, according to Ricky, as you can add them to smoothies and baked goods without even having to defrost them.

Berries contain less sugar than many other fruits and are remarkably high in fiber. That might help explain why a 2015 study in Appetite found that people who were given a 65-calorie berry snack ate less food on a subsequent meal than those who were given candies of the same calorie content.


“Frozen shrimp are a low-calorie, high-protein food that can help keep you feeling full long after you’ve eaten,” says Klamer.

In fact, just a 3-ounce serving of shrimp has a whopping 12 grams of protein and only 60 calories.

Try baking, sautéing, or air-frying frozen shrimp and adding them to tacos, salad, and pasta for a more persistent meal.

frozen salmonShutterstock

When it comes to seafood, Mitri says salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that is not only high in protein, but also rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats can have anti-inflammatory effects in the body and were shown to have potential anti-obesity effects in a 2010 nutritional study.

Whether you’re baking, roasting, or grilling, frozen salmon fillets can make for a super-filling salad topper or an appetizer for dinner. Pro tip: sub-salmon for beef for a healthier homemade burger.

Cauliflower riceShutterstock

Cauliflower “rice” has just 29 calories and 4.7 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving, making it an excellent rice swap for weight loss.

“You can easily add cauliflower rice to stews, casseroles, and even as a substitute for traditional rice in any dish you would normally serve,” says Trista Best, RD at Balance One Supplements. “Frozen cauliflower rice is probably the most versatile and convenient of them all. It cooks in minutes and provides almost as many nutrients as its fresh counterpart.”

If you’re struggling to get used to the idea of ​​cauliflower rice, Ricky suggests replacing half of your traditional rice with this low-carb alternative.

For even more weight loss tips, read these next:

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Adults who consume the most dairy fat are less likely to develop heart disease, study finds



One study suggests that adults who eat a dairy-rich diet are up to 25 percent less likely to develop heart disease.

Previous research has generally gone the other way, linking dairy products to heart problems because things like milk and cheese are high in cholesterol and fat.

But the latest Australian study suggests that the other nutrients in dairy products have protective effects on the heart and help it function normally.

They said people should stick to dairy products, which have fewer additives and are not sweetened or salted.

Heart and circulatory diseases are responsible for around 160,000 deaths a year in the UK while they are responsible for 655,000 deaths in the US.

However, the study’s experts claimed that the type of dairy product consumed, rather than the fat content, could be responsible for the heart problems

Co-lead author Dr. Matti Marklund of the George Institute for Global Health in Australia said it was important to eat dairy products.

“While some dietary guidelines continue to suggest consumers choose low-fat dairy products, others have moved away from that recommendation.

“Instead, it can be suggested that dairy products can be part of a healthy diet, with an emphasis on choosing certain dairy products – for example yogurt instead of butter – or avoiding sweetened dairy products with added sugar.”

What should a balanced diet look like?

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 servings of different types of fruit and vegetables every day. Count all fresh, frozen, dried, and canned fruits and vegetables

• Basic meals based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains

• 30 grams of fiber per day: This corresponds to the consumption of everything: 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2 wholemeal cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and a large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy products or milk alternatives (such as soy drinks) and choose low-fat and low-sugar options

• Eat beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat, and other proteins (including 2 servings of fish per week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume them in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups / glasses of water daily

• Adults should consume less than 6 g salt and 20 g saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide

He added, “Although the results can be influenced in part by factors other than milk fat, our study does not suggest harm from milk fat per se.”

In the study – published today in the journal Plos Medicine – researchers tested the blood of 4,000 people in their 60s from Sweden.

They followed participants for 16 years and recorded the number of cardiovascular events and deaths that occurred.

The results were compared with another 17 similar studies involving 43,000 people from the US, Denmark and the UK to confirm their results.

The data showed that people who ate more milk fat in their diet had 25 percent fewer heart problems than those who ate less dairy products.

The study did not record what type of dairy product each participant consumed.

The lead study author Dr. Kathy Trieu of the George Institute of Global Health Australia said it was important to only eat healthy dairy products.

She said, “Growing evidence suggests that the health effects of dairy products are type – like cheese, yogurt, milk and butter – rather than fat, raising doubts as to whether milk fat avoidance is beneficial for those overall cardiovascular health. ‘

Professor Ian Givens, a food chain nutrition expert at Reading University who was not involved in the study, said the results were largely in line with previous publications.

He told Science Media Center, “This study used fatty acid biomarkers to specifically target milk fat because it is high in saturated fat, which is widely believed to increase the risk of coronary artery disease.

“As the authors say, there is growing evidence that the health effects of dairy products depend on the type of food.

“There is perhaps the most evidence for hard cheese, where a number of studies show that the physical and chemical dietary matrix reduces the amount of fat the body absorbs, resulting in moderate or no increases in blood lipids, risk factors for cardiovascular disease are.”

Several studies have shown that consuming more dairy products may be linked to improved heart health.

Researchers have pointed to the high nutritional content in dairy products to explain this boost to the cardiovascular system.

They are an important source of vitamin B12, which is used to build red blood cells and keep the nervous system healthy.

They also contain potassium, which plays a vital role in maintaining nerve and muscle health.

But many dairy products have already earned a bad rap for their high saturated fat content, which has been linked to heart disease.

A British Heart Foundation spokesman previously said: “Dairy products do not need to be excluded from the diet to prevent cardiovascular disease and are already part of the eatwell guide, which forms the basis of our recommendations for healthy eating in the UK.”

They added, “It is currently recommended to choose low-fat dairy products as our total saturated fat intake is above recommendations.”

Other studies have also suggested a link between increased consumption of dairy products and better heart health.

The UK produces more than 16 billion liters of milk each year, nearly 7 billion of which are consumed by consumers.

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These Are the 3 Healthiest Types of Rice You Can Eat



Whether you’re serving arroz con pollo, a tasty stir-fry, or a mushroom risotto, rice is a staple in most diets and kitchens. “In addition to being affordable and accessible, rice is relatively easy to prepare,” says Claire Carlton MS, RD, LD / N, a North Carolina-based nutritionist and digestive health expert. “Rice is also a high-fiber source of nutrients and naturally gluten-free.”

a close up of food on a table: IriGri8 / Getty Images

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IriGri8 / Getty Images

Of course, there are tons of healthy grains to choose from, but rice is among the most easily available, especially white and brown rice. Plus, rice comes in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes, each with their own unique tastes and health benefits. We asked experts to point out which grains of rice have the healthiest benefits and to name the good, bad, and ugly in the brown rice and white rice diet.

Video: The 3 Healthiest Rice You Can Eat (Really Easy)

These are the 3 healthiest types of rice you can eat

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Black rice

Though sometimes harder to find, black rice is the number one nutritional rock star when it comes to rice varieties. It’s high in fiber and nutrients that help lower cholesterol, promote healthy digestion, and fight off chronic diseases. “Black rice has been shown to have the highest antioxidant content of all rice varieties, largely due to the content of anthocyanins – a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that gives the grains their dark purple hue – as well as flavonoids and carotenoids.” explains Megan Roosevelt, RDN, a registered LA-based nutritionist and founder of Your black rice bowl can also give you a hearty protein boost, serving nearly 10 grams in a boiled cup.

RELATED: 6 Great Sources of Plant-Based Protein for an Extra Boost of Fuel

Wild rice

Another healthy rice winner is this chewy long grain version that is native to North America. As with black rice, the high fiber content of these brown and black grains aids digestion and lowers cholesterol levels. Wild rice is also packed with disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamin C, says Roosevelt.

Brown rice

With its nutty, dense texture, brown rice is one of the better starch options available to you, high in B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. “It’s also a whole grain and high in fiber that helps stabilize blood sugar and promote satiety,” said Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP, a California-based functional medicine doctor and clinical nutritionist. “Brown rice also gets your digestive tract moving as it feeds healthy bacteria into your intestines.”

TIED TOGETHER: How to cook perfectly fluffy rice every time

The word on the diet of white rice

While it may be tastier to some, white rice isn’t nearly as good to you as the more colorful varieties. “It was processed to remove the shell, bran, and germs where most of the food is,” says Roosevelt. “It gives it a softer texture than wild or brown rice, but it is less nutritious, lacks fiber, and has a higher glycemic index.” That being said, many brands of white rice are artificially fortified with folic acid, calcium, and iron, which amplifies their benefits somewhat. Also, the lower fiber may be preferable to those dealing with digestive issues.

Do I have to worry that rice is high in arsenic?

As you may have heard, rice is high in arsenic, a known carcinogen that contributes to higher levels of cancer, diabetes, heart, and autoimmune diseases. “Adults are advised to eat no more than two servings a week, including rice syrup and rice flour, which may appear on the labels of some prepackaged foods,” warns Petersen. “Short grain rice contains less arsenic than long grain rice. A study by Consumer Reports also found that brown basmati rice from California, India and Pakistan is one of the safest sources of rice.”

Here’s the good news: you can reduce the carcinogen levels in your rice with the right cooking techniques. Petersen recommends rinsing the rice about five times in a sieve first. Then cook the rice like pasta, using a water to rice ratio of 10 to 1 instead of the typical 2 to 1 ratio. Once the rice is cooked through, drain and rinse again. To counter any side effects, she also recommends serving your rice with foods high in antioxidants, such as dark leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, cruciferous vegetables, and turmeric. Once cleaned, your brightly colored rice grains can be a tasty, nutritious addition to your weekly diet.

a close up of food on a table: all the healthy benefits of consuming these tasty little grains.

© IriGri8 / Getty Images
All the healthy benefits of consuming these tasty little grains.

TIED TOGETHER: 17 Simply Delicious Rice Recipes You’ll Want To Make Tonight

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