5 realistic ways to eat less processed foods
Most of us struggle with processed foods as they simply taste good, take less time to prepare and you can find a snack in almost every corner without trying too hard.
This, however, should not be an excuse to continue on this unhealthy journey that can likely lead to excess weight gain and other illnesses – all that could have been avoided altogether.
If cancer, inflammation and other chronic diseases scare you, you need to do something about your diet urgently.
What makes processed foods seem dangerous is the added sugars, saturated fats and salt to make them taste better and give them a much longer shelf life.
You may want to go slow on foods that are highly processed like your favorite breakfast cereal, biscuits, some sauces, canned tuna and frozen foods.
To start on your clean eating here are some realistic ways on how you can do that.
- Read food labels
The most obvious sign a food product has been processed is the long laundry list of ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Check to see if any sugar has been added and, in some cases, they may use scientific terms like fructose or glucose.
If you can’t help it, look for products with the least amount of unhealthy additions per 100mg.
Also, beware of promises such as, ‘no added sugar,’ ‘organic’ or ‘natural.’ It does not guarantee what you are buying is 100% what they claim.
- Cut sugar
This is not easy but you can start gradually by taking one product or proportion out at a time. You can start by eliminating sugar in your morning coffee, or your butter and jam bread combo accompaniment.
You can replace them with protein-based breakfast such as a grain free banana pancake or an avocado omelet. When it comes to your bread, purchase it fresh from the bakery.
- Take advantage of your local farmers market
When shopping, do it on a full stomach and avoid shelved items as much as you can. Focus on the fresh products aisle and stick to the budget.
If you live in countries such as Kenya where food is in plenty and you can find organic farmers markets every weekend, take advantage of that. Identify a farmer, a butchery or a grocery store where they only sell pesticide free produce and properly nourished meat products.
- Have some snacks handy
We all battle cravings throughout the day and for this reason you need to know what your triggers are and at what time they occur.
To counter making bad food decisions, have some raw nuts, your favorite fruit or seeds at close proximity especially when you’re outdoors.
There are so many advantages to cooking your own meals. You control the ingredients that go in, you learn how to make things you usually buy by yourself and lastly, the hustle of making the some processed foods and cakes you enjoy takes so much time and effort you will not eat them as often.
Try out new recipes and start enjoying healthy foods more. Freeze the excess away and repurpose them to your sandwiches or soups.
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