FAQs On Processed Foods

You can find processed foods in any supermarket or cafeteria. We are talking about canned, frozen and subjected to other types of heat treatment products, sweets and semi-finished foods. They eat them every day and don’t even think about whether such food is healthy.

It turns out that eating processed foods in large quantities is extremely harmful because they contain an excess of sugar, salt, refined fats, dyes, preservatives and other harmful components that cannot but affect our body. Today, we will answer the most popular questions about processed foods.

Frequently Asked Questions About Processed Foods

What are processed foods?

Processed foods are those whose composition has been changed before they are consumed: canned fish, meat and vegetables, semi-finished products, frozen foods, street food and fast food, ketchups, mayonnaise, sauces, chips, cookies, sweets, confectionery, meat products (sausages, boiled pork, bacon), packaged juices, soda, etc.

How are foods classified by level of processing?

In accordance with the current world definitions, all foods are divided into four main groups:

  1. Untreated or minimally processed food. This group includes unprocessed or natural food, including food that has undergone basic processing, such as slicing, freezing, chopping, etc.;
  2. Basic food components (main products) are usually added to the products of the first group. Examples are foods that can be found in any kitchen and which contain oil (olive, sunflower, canola, etc.), sugar (white or brown), salt and spices;
  3. Products consisting only of unprocessed foods with the addition of basic food components. These are home-made foods made from home-made ingredients found in any supermarket. A more formal definition refers to food consisting only of unprocessed foods with the addition of basic foods: foods cooked with spices (at home, in a restaurant, or at a food company). This group includes most dishes, such as soups (not containing powder), chicken or fish cooked in the oven, couscous, meatballs, boiled or stewed vegetables, etc.;
  4. Ultra-processed food contains ingredients that are difficult to find in your home kitchen, such as food extracts, as well as industrial and complex additives (creating or improving color, texture, or taste) that affect your eating habits and a natural feeling of satiety. Ultra-processed foods are usually sealed, ready for immediate use anywhere and anytime, or after minimal cooking (adding boiling water, heating in the microwave, etc.)

Why do we mainly eat processed foods?

Dyes, flavors, and odor additives, fat, sugar and salt make us eat in larger quantities than we really need.

The availability and speed of ultra-processed food encourage its use in the form of snacks, and not as part of an orderly meal (for example, granola, sugary drinks, individual instant dishes, instant soups, and others).

Intensive marketing and advertising activities, including engaging opinion leaders, are conducted to encourage the consumption of ultra-processed food products as part of desired or normative behavior.

Besides, in many cases, ultra-processed food is cheaper than fresh food.

What will happen to our health if we regularly consume processed foods?

So, now you see that processed foods are not beneficial for our health. So even if the label says that the product contains only useful components, do not be lazy to read the composition and make sure of this.

What processed foods can be useful?

Eating fresh or minimally processed foods, including vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs, legumes, nuts, cereals, will help you stay healthy!

Category: Health and Wellness

Tags: healthy diet, healthy lifestyle, nutrition