Why I avoid processed foods.

Next week I’m going to talk about some processed food alternatives we use often in our house. Its a fast paced world and I don’t have time to make everything from scratch like I wish I could. Plus I don’t have a maid to do all those dishes, I hate dishes.  This week however I’m going to talk about why we (Mac and I) avoid as much as we can.

Here is the biggie, most highly processed foods have little to no nutritional value, and if they do have some its with chemical vitamin substitutes that have been added after all the natural vitamins have been processed out.  Take cereal for example, first a typical kids cereal (and one of my guilty pleasures) Peanut Butter Crunch:

*From the Captin Crunch Website

Ok take a look at this, second ingredient is sugar, then peanut butter whose second ingredient is dextrose a from of sugar, a few more random things and then they add the vitamins in. Yikes! In 3/4 a cup you have:

  • 110 calories
  • 9 grams of sugar
  • 2 grams of protein.

In 3/4 cup of raw peanuts (which would be a lot)

  • 567 calories
  • 4 grams of sugar (5 less grams)
  • 26 grams of protein!

Higher in calories yes but way more filling and tons more energy, you wouldn’t need to eat 3/4 of a cup.

Now how about a ‘healthy’ cereal? One that is supposed to fill you up and help you lose weight, Special K:

Ingredients:

Rice, wheat gluten, sugar, defatted wheat germ, contains 2% or less of salt, whey, malt flavoring, calcium caseinate.
Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), reduced iron, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol acetate), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride), vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), niacinamide, vitamin B12.

*from the Special K Website

Ok better, sugar is at least the third ingredient however once again all the vitamins are just added in, not at all natural and therefore harder for you body to process.  Plus look at what its made of, grains grains and more grains this is just straight up carbs (23 grams) and therefore only provides short term energy.

Gives you something to think about huh?

That is just one reason we try not to eat processed foods, another is all the added un-natural ingredients you can find in foods…ones that arn’t food at all. Things like these additives, I’ll just list them for now but for more information check out this article on  Food Matters.

  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Mono-sodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Trans Fat
  • Common Food Dyes
  • Sodium Sulfate
  • Sodium Nitrite
  • BHA/BHT
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Potassium Bromide

There are also A LOT of ingredients that the FDA approves in the US that have been banned in other countries for a long time. Things like arsenic, yep arsenic. You can read a little more about it in this Chicago Tribune artical and this one from the Mother Nature Network.

 

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