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This Month In Diet
  • Fake News Has Nothing on Fake Ingredients
    If you want to eat healthily, you have to eat more whole foods and fewer processed foods. Not sure which foods are considered highly processed and should be kept out of your kitchen? Keep reading to find out. Read >>
  • Chunky Tips on Going Meatless
    While meat is the fast and easy go-to option for protein, iron, vitamin B12, and other essential vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t have to be yours. Whether you want to cut back on meat because of health concerns, thoughts of animal welfare, environmental reasons, or to save money, you can’t do it without adding other types of high-protein foods in its place.  Read >>
  • A Green Bill of Health
    There’s something special about green tea. Hence why an estimated 20 percent of all tea consumed in the world is green! Here are five reasons why you should drink more green tea. Read >>
  • The Whole (Grain) Story
    Why eat whole grains? Because they’re an important source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and plant compounds. If you’re ready to make the switch from refined grains to whole grains, you can do it with these tips. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Fake News Has Nothing on Fake Ingredients

Don’t believe everything you eat.

If you want to eat healthily, you have to eat more whole foods and fewer processed foods. You know it’s true, but you also know that this is more complicated than it sounds.

Whole foods are those that are in their most natural state or fresh off the farm. A diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts provides your body with the nutrients, fiber, phytochemicals, and healthy fats needed for health and disease prevention. It’s these nutritional qualities that are often removed when foods are processed. The more food a is processed, the more unhealthy it typically becomes.

A food that is processed means it has been altered in some way from its original form. Some types of processing are necessary and harmless. Minimally processed foods that have been canned, frozen, baked, or dried can still be part of a healthy diet. Highly processed foods, on the other hand, contain added ingredients or go through processing that removes nutrients.

Not sure which foods are considered highly processed and should be kept out of your kitchen? Keep reading to find out how to spot fake foods.

Added Sugars

Want an instant boost to your health? Watch out for foods made with high amounts of added sugars. Unfortunately, you can’t just look for the word “sugar” on food labels. That’s because sugar goes by many different names: dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose, corn syrup, molasses, agave syrup, and cane syrup to name a few. And it’s found in high amounts in some foods you may not suspect. Of course you’ll find a lot of added sugar in soda, cookies, and candy, but it’s also in breakfast cereals, condiments, breads, snack foods, and yogurt. Since added sugar is associated with weight gain, tooth decay, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, avoiding it is essential for optimal health.

Artificial Ingredients

Artificial ingredients are ingredients not found in nature. Rather, they’re made by humans in a laboratory. Synthetic food colorings, preservatives, flavorings, additives, and artificial sweeteners are what you want to avoid, but with more than 3,000 such ingredients found in the majority of processed foods, they’re hard to escape if you eat a processed food.

A few of the most common to keep an eye out for include high fructose corn syrup, blue #1, blue #2, red #3, red #40, yellow #6, yellow tartrazine, artificial flavors, BHA, BHT, sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, sulphur dioxide, potassium bromate, and brominated vegetable oil. See these on an ingredient label? Don’t put the food in your grocery cart.

Why is it important to avoid artificial ingredients? Because they’ve been linked to weight gain, hyperactivity, behavioral problems, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory problems, and more.

Refined Grains

When a grain is refined, it’s had the bran and germ of the grain removed. This may prolong shelf life, but it eliminates many of the nutrients and fiber. White flour, white rice, and cornmeal are types of refined grains that you’ll find in many highly processed foods. A diet high in refined carbs is clearly associated with an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Imitation Foods

A food that looks or tastes like something it isn’t is known as an imitation. These highly processed foods include things like margarine, imitation crab meat, lemonade powder, processed cheese, and pancake syrup. Made with artificial flavors, colors, and additives, these foods should be replaced with their real version.

Fast Food

It’s no secret that most fast food is highly processed and bad for you. Even the “healthy” options are made with unhealthy ingredients. High in sodium, unhealthy fats, added sugars, additives, and preservatives, fast food is known to contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.