The Perils of Processed Foods

Last time out we looked at trying to be present when shopping. OK, we didn’t want to call it anything as crazy as mindful shopping – however, keeping your thoughts on what you’re buying at the supermarket, both before you go and whilst you’re there, can help keep your diet healthy.

Basket Awareness

Having a final look into your basket before you get to the checkout is a great way to remove anything that shouldn’t have really climbed in there. As your eyes scan over your proposed purchases ask yourself the following questions…

  • What kind of foods am I buying?
  • How many sugary foods do I need?
  • Which of these foods are processed?
  • And which are ultra-processed?

Some processed foods are relatively harmless. For instance yogurts, roasted nuts, Spanish olive oil, jar vegetables, cereal brands, canned fish, bags of frozen vegetables, etc.. They’re trusted techniques that have been used for centuries to preserve and extend the lifespan of foods. Compare these with all cookies, breakfast cereals, soft drinks, sugary yogurts, unhealthy canned preserves, fried and salty nuts, ultra-sugary chocolates – and you’ll see what we’re getting at.

What is Good Food?

Most of the time when the EMS crew goes shopping – we look for the raw materials of mealtimes. Minimal processes. Natural as possible. Fresh food. Think eggs, meats, legumes, nuts, milk. fish, fruits, vegetables, raw cereals (such as oats for example) and milk. Sure not everything in our baskets fits this mould, but we know we’re on the right track if around 90% of the contents fits this description.

How do we go about sorting out the good processed from the bad processed?

Our rule of thumb is that if the processes has been applied for the longevity and convenience of the food – or extraction then it’s OK to have a little. Our list includes some cereals, frozen peas, olive oil, tinned fish in brine, roasted nuts, yoghurts, cheeses. All these have minimal processing that is inherent in creating a natural product that’s existed for centuries – or uses simple preservatives to make the product last.

Our problem – as we mentioned with the cookies, is when processing goes crazy. We’re talking the ultra-processed terrain that generally comes with wild packaging and is often aimed at kids and teenagers. Think cookies, biscuits, soft drinks, chocolate mousse, sugary chocolates, cheap burgers – and so on. Once in a while? We’d rather not. Avoid making these foods anything other than a rare treat if you have to.

Let Us Help You

Want to get on the healthy diet tip? EMS Fitness goes beyond giving you a simple nutrition plan. Our team can talk to you about diet, helping you form better shopping habits and supporting you through the toughest moments. Sounds like something that could help you? Give us a call and book an initial meeting.