Processed Foods Part 2: Ways to Stay Healthy
A lot of what we eat today is processed foods. Some processed foods have ingredients added, some are fortified with nutrients, and some are packaged to last longer. Even foods labeled natural or organic can be processed. More people are trying to avoid processed foods, and the American Heart Association reports that 50% of consumers have tried to eat fewer processed foods.
Here are 3 tips to keep in mind next time you are at the grocery store.
1. Choose Healthier Processed Foods. Read food labels and look for the American Heart Association Heart-Check mark on packaged foods. Not all processed foods are unhealthy. For example, frozen produce without any added salt or sauce is a healthy, less expensive way to add produce into your diet.
2. Seek Alternatives. Try replacing some of the processed foods in your diet with healthier options. Cook more meals at home, look for less processed options such as frozen fruits and veggies, and add more produce to your diet.
3. Watch out for Sodium. Extensive research has shown that too much sodium is related to high blood pressure. Most of the sodium in our diets comes from highly processed foods, not the salt shaker. Watch out for cold cuts, cured meats, pizza, bread and soup. For example, try cooking simple soups and pasta sauce instead of buying them prepared, to reduce sodium.
Keep these tips in mind next time you are at the grocery store and feel empowered to make better choices! If you are seeking even more ways to keep your family healthy, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Karen today!
Karen L. Leibowitz, MD
Health and Medical Coach