5 Overly-Processed Foods

by in Healthy Tips, June 27, 2013

doughnuts in box
Did you clean your kitchen out after reading our list of the scariest processed foods a few months ago? Here are 5 more overly-processed foods that you might want to toss if you’re looking to clean up your diet.

Flavored Rice & Pastas
Check out the sodium on those seasoning packets — you could be downing 35 to 45 percent of your daily recommended dose in 1 cup. Plus you’ll get an laundry list of additives and preservatives (and they’re not even made with real cheese!)—it’s just so easy to make your own.

Healthier Alternative: 5-Ingredient Spicy Cheesy Rice

Processed Pastries
Boxed cakes, cookies and doughnuts might bring up those feel-good childhood memories, but they’re just a high-fat, nutrient-empty junk food. Some boxed doughnut varieties can have as much as 65% of your daily recommended dose of artery-clogging fat for just one! You’ll also find trans fats in some varieties, such as cakes made with shortening-based frosting and cream-filled cookies.

Healthier Alternative: Marbled Banana Bread

Fake Whipped Cream
Hydrogenated fat, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors can all be found in the ingredient list of this faux food.

Healthier Alternative: Homemade Whipped Cream

Sugar-Free Goodies
Many treats now tout themselves as being sugar-free such as granola, ice cream and cookies. Although the sugar content may be lower, the artificial sweeteners used instead are just that – artificial and highly processed. In addition, they’re also several hundred times sweeter than sugar. Some research also suggests that munching on loads of these artificially-sweetened foods may program your brain to crave the sweet stuff more often.

Healthier Alternative: Choose foods made with natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar and agave. A little goes a long way.

Kids Drinks
The recipe for these drinks: sugar + water + artificial colors. Although they may be the cheaper brand on the shelf or perhaps you got some on sale, they provide your kids with zero nutrients to help them grow and develop.

Healthier Alternative: Choose juices made with 100% juice. Check out my juice box taste test to see which boxed juice rated highest.

Tell Us: What processed food are you suspicious of?

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Comments (6)

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  2. Mike says:

    The Near East brand of rice, couscous, and quinoa have a pretty healthy ingredient mix.

  3. Mason says:

    Vegetarian and vegan "jerky" ….yeah.

  4. Chris says:

    I shake my head in wonder at the 'ground meat assistant' type packages- I mean boil some macaroni, throw in some spices, an onion and some garlic, add to hamburger, et voila- even the 5-ingredient spicy cheesy rice recipe would be great with ground beef added.

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