We know processed foods are bad but sadly we cannot help but buy them because they are convenient, cheap and addictive. Now, what are processed foods? Processed foods can be defined as food that has been altered in order to lower production cost, last longer and look more appetizing, but due to these modifications has lost beneficial nutrients and has been induced with substances that harm your body. This may not sound to worrisome due to your body’s natural ability to flush out toxins, however it needs time to do this. If you are constantly eating processed food the body cannot keep up and the toxins build up and impair its function. Also, processed foods affect the reward system the brain. You see, the brain is made to respond and seek out behavior that releases dopamine. Healthy foods like apples and asparagus do release dopamine but not as much as ice cream and fast food. The brain quickly becomes addicted to these kinds of foods and will always ask for more.
What to Eat
First off you need to know what kind of foods you should avoid. The healthiest options are fresh organic foods, they retain their nutrients like fiber, vitamins and minerals that are lost when being processed and they do not contain harmful additives like pesticides and preservatives. Unfortunately, many people do not opt for organic simply because its so expensive and that is completely understandable. But you can learn how to choose the right foods that will fit in with your busy life. Buy foods with the least amount of additives for example you could buy dried beans instead of canned beans, if you do not have the time to cook them you should choose canned beans that have the least amount of ingredients listed on the back. Then it is to convenient do not buy it, so foods like microwaved dinners that are full of additives should be avoided by all cost. For example, many frozen foods have 700 to 1800 mg of sodium and the recommended daily intake is 2300 mg, and they do not have so much flavor. Also, these additives have been linked to skin problems such as acne, depression and even cancer. When buying food always read the label if you don’t recognize the ingredient it’s best not to buy it. Avoid all sodas especially ones with corn syrup and low or zero calories.
How to Stay on Track
Cooking your own meals is the best way to go but many don’t have the time to cook and chose fast foods. There are ways to make your meals fit your schedule. You can go online and find numerous recipes that are delicious, easy to make take the least amount of time. Don’t be lazy, it’s your body you need to take care of it if you want it to last longer. Now, how about when your at the office and you didn’t have time to pack your lunch? You don’t want to have a sandwich, the meat and cheese in those it processed and usually full of sodium. The food in the office canteen is usually low quality so what you can do is order office fruit delivery. It’s a much more healthier snack than a mayonnaise oozing sandwich filled with bad cholesterol and sodium.
Snacking is considered a bad habit and for a good reason: because snacks are usually junk foods like chips, ice cream and candy. You don’t have to give up on snacking altogether because it’s not necessary bad, what is bad is snacking on the wrong foods. If you feel the need you should satisfy it, as simple as that. If you have only 2 or 3 meals a day you are more likely to go on a binge, but if you have snacks regularly your body will have nutrients at its disposal during the whole day. You should snack on healthy foods like nuts, tomatoes, bananas, granola bars, baby carrots, different types of berries (dried or fresh), avocado with cottage cheese or shrimp.