In Balanced Diet, Featured

The Ugly Truth Behind Processed Foods

// LAST UPDATED ON May 30, 2018 //

Always be aware of what you’re putting into your mouth, even if it’s delicious. Click through to the full post at Extra Balanced to learn the ugly truth behind processed foods & find out how to differentiate between highly processed foods & healthier, minimally processed foods.Today I’m throwing it back to a time when I would eat junk food like it wasn’t a huge problem. YIKES! – we’ve all been there, right?

WEIRD because I basically I grew up in a house that almost never had candy, chips, or soda at an arm’s reach.

I think what really makes junky processed foods SO alluring is that they’re easy to eat & packed full of flavor – WAY too much flavor than necessary.

Crazy thing though : While inhaling an entire bag of chips or cookies, I never ever wondered “Oh gosh, I wonder what makes these so damn good?” … Until one day I randomly decided to read past the nutrition facts & glimpse the ingredients label.

MAN, what a totally eye-opening, life-changing moment that was!

Like, curiosity killed the cat?

… NOPE, just my appetite.

Not even being extra ( okay maybe a lil’ – who am I KIDDING ), but just WTF was sodium stearoyl lactylate? High fructose corn syrup? Sorbic acid? Artificial flavors?

These are all ingredients commonly found in highly processed foods – kind of as if we’re eating out of a chem lab instead of a kitchen.

Sketchy, sketchy.

I decided I wasn’t a fan & I wanted to cut down on the unnecessary chemicals going into my body – food should just be food, y’know? & thinking back, these processed foods tasted good for about 2 mins before I ended up feeling sluggish & gross – just not the best version of myself AT ALL.


The Skinny on Processed Foods

So exactly how do you distinguish between highly processed foods & minimally processed foods?

Minimally processed foods usually have a VERY short ingredient list consisting of super simple, no-BS ingredients that you prob would’ve found in your great grandmother’s kitchen about 100 years ago.  These foods are much more nutritious & are most likely lower in calories. There may be some fats ( super important when it comes to a balanced diet ) but absolutely NO trans fats. These foods also keep you naturally energized, so having caffeine is less of a life-or-death situation. ( Ok, but there are STILL those days where I’m not worth a damn thing before coffee – HA! )

Always be aware of what you’re putting into your mouth, even if it’s delicious. Click through to the full post at Extra Balanced to learn the ugly truth behind processed foods & find out how to differentiate between highly processed foods & healthier, minimally processed foods.[ an example of a good ingredient list ]

On the other hand, if you look at the ingredient lists of highly processed foods, you’ll probably find some new words to add to your vocab. A lot of these sketchy ingredients are used in order to 1. increase the shelf life 2. improve the flavor that disappears when the food isn’t as fresh anymore.

Sounds a lot like cheating, doesn’t it?

Highly processed foods aren’t going to be doing you any favors when it comes to attaining a balanced lifestyle because they’re FULL of empty calories – meaning you’d get hungry a lotttt faster. They’ll also make you feel like a sloth – still cute, but super lazy / tired.

Always be aware of what you’re putting into your mouth, even if it’s delicious. Click through to the full post at Extra Balanced to learn the ugly truth behind processed foods & find out how to differentiate between highly processed foods & healthier, minimally processed foods.[ pin this infographic for later! 📌 ]


I’m not saying that I 100% avoid processed foods. It’s honestly almost impossible to completely cut out processed foods in this day & age – unless you’re on the paleo diet. Which, I mean, GO YOU!

Butttttt, if ya know me well, you’d know that I’m OBSESSED with XXTRA Flamin’ Hot Cheetos & jalapeño chips. I also adore pizza. They’re totally my guilty pleasures & it’s soooo bad … but hey, I’m human, too!

What I AM saying is that it’s smart to slowly cut these things out of your diet. Nothing TOO drastic … maybe eat out of portion-controlled bowls instead of taking it to your in-bed Netflix sesh & eating straight outta the bag ( guilty 😅 ).

It’s all about MODERATION!

To start you off, here’s a challenge : the next time you’re shopping for food, pay attention to those ingredient labels & replace a snack you would’ve bought with something a little more natural.

Really & truly, our bodies want CRAVE the natural stuff. That’s how we were built, & that’s how it was before processed foods made their conveniently terrible entrance.

So, let’s chat : What’s your biggest guilty pleasure food? & if you have, what are some ways you were able to cut it out of your diet? DO TELL.

 

Yours truly,


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Always be aware of what you’re putting into your mouth, even if it’s delicious. Click through to the full post at Extra Balanced to learn the ugly truth behind processed foods & find out how to differentiate between highly processed foods & healthier, minimally processed foods.


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