Can You Include Processed Foods as Part of Your Healthy Diet?

[ 0 ] April 23, 2020 |

Food processing has many phases of preparing food, such as grinding products to produce raw ingredients and using mixers and homogenizers – such as a Ginhong blender – to make convenience foods, or what we commonly know as processed foods.

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Generally, processed foods are everywhere. Hence it is difficult to avoid them. Some have added sweeteners, oils, and preservatives. Whereas others have additional nutrients included like calcium, fiber, or vitamin D. Some are merely prepared for convenience, while others are packed to last longer. 

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You may see foods that are labeled natural or organic, yet they underwent food processing. What’s more, not all processed foods went through a rigorous method. For instance, roasted nuts, salad mix, and frozen fruits went on a minimal process only, compared to snack foods and ready-to-eat meals. 

So, can we include processed foods in a healthy diet? Let’s find out!

Select Healthier Processed Foods

Which processed foods are considered healthier to eat? Even if you plan to avoid it entirely, the truth is you can’t, nor should you. The solution is to know how to make smart choices by identifying healthier packed foods wherever you go.

  • Check the Food Labels

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Reading the food nutrition label is the best way to identify what is precisely in processed food. It would be better to select items that have lesser sodium content, unhealthy fats, and added sugars. Just check for the Nutrition Facts label or ingredients list and other package claims.

  • Take Pleasure in Frozen and Canned Products

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Frozen and canned veggies and fruits can be easily bought in markets and grocery stores. Not to mention, they are affordable, can be stored for a long time, and be just as nutritious as fresh. It would be best to look for varieties without sugary syrups and salty sauces. You can compare label information and single-out items that have the lowest amounts of added sugars and sodium.

  • See For the Heart-Check Mark

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Products that have an American Heart Association’s Heart-Check symbol means that the stored foods are certified to be part of a healthy diet. The white and red icon on the package signifies meeting the nutrition requirements for a particular food category.

  • Make Better Decisions When Eating Out

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It is essential to make smart choices whenever you plan on eating out. Choose restaurants where food is cooked to order, or there is an allocated healthier menu selection available. The key is to have good communication. You can ask how the food is being prepared, which food is made to order in-house, and if you can make substitutions.

Reduce Your Intake of Highly Processed Foods

Overeating processed foods, especially highly treated ones, is already a red flag. Why? Because there’s a high chance that your body will get too much sodium, too many sugars, and unhealthy fats. And as the saying goes, too much of anything is bad. So how can you limit your processed food intake?

  • It Is Always Recommended to Cook More Meals at Home

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You don’t have to be a cooking master to have the right to cook in your kitchen. Besides, there are lots of easy recipes that you can check and follow step-by-step online. Doing this gives you the advantage of preparing food that you can control over whatever is added to it. Not to mention, it can save you money and experience a priceless bonding time with family.

  • Choose Less Processed Foods Rather Than the Highly Processed Ones

For instance, you can make your own condiment and salad dressing rather than buying the manufactured ones. Another is you can add fruit to simple plain oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt instead of purchasing the flavored or sweetened variety. 

Also, pick out frozen and canned products that are free from sugary syrups and salty sauces. Likewise, it is better to make a light tuna salad for sandwiches or slice up a leftover roasted chicken rather than using a deli processed meat.

  • Plant and Grow Vegetables and Fruits

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Nowadays, space is no longer a challenge in planting fruits and vegetables; just look at the container, indoor, or community gardening. You will surely love the taste of fresh produce, and kids might enjoy trying fruits and veggies that they have helped grow. If you still want to get fresh seasonal produce but don’t have a green thumb, go and shop at your local farmers’ market.

  • Snack Wiser

If you want to snack, better drop the thought of eating salty potato chips and try munching on crunchy nuts and seeds or fruits and cut-up veggies. You can pack such healthier snacks in small containers, and they are just as convenient as that unhealthy bag of chips.


In a nutshell, you can include some types of processed foods to your healthy diet. But in order to fully live healthily, one must also have daily exercise, be physically active, and avoid unhealthy vices. 

Do you like our topic? Which part can you relate with? We would love to hear your thoughts about your healthy diet. Place your ideas below.

Category: Food.Fun.Stuff.

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