Ways to Eat Less Processed Foods – 10 Easy and Realistic Tips

Ways to Eat Less Processed Foods

Hey there, welcome to this blog post “Ways to Eat Less Processed Foods – 10 Easy and Realistic Tips.” Every time you walk down the aisle at the grocery store, you’re tempted by processed foods. There’s so much to buy! Instant ramen, TV dinners, Coca-cola, and sausages just to name a few.

Processed foods are unhealthy. They’re loaded with salt, sugar, and preservatives. Cutting down on processed foods can be a task, but don’t worry. In this article, I’ll be telling you about 10 easy and realistic tips for eating less processed foods.

Will drinking water help? What about food swaps? Can meal prepping help? We’ll be talking about all of these AND more…

Drink More Water

Drink More Water - Ways to Eat Less Processed Foods

Our body is made up of 60% water! Drinking water is essential for staying hydrated and maintaining your overall health. Sadly, most of you don’t drink enough. But how will drinking water help you eat less processed food?

Well, suppose you had your breakfast, and after 45 minutes, you again feel like eating something. You might end up snacking on some chips. Actually, this feeling is not hunger, but thirst. Your body is dehydrated and needs water.

Drinking water will hydrate you and prevent unnecessary snacking. You might think, “why to drink water?” when options like sodas and energy drinks are also available! Well, these beverages only dump calories and sugar into your body and have no nutrients.

Switching to water is an excellent way to reduce your intake of processed foods. I know many of you don’t like drinking plain water all day. Drink sparkling or flavored water instead. To add some extra flavor, you can prepare homemade fruit-infused water.

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Just add slices of cucumber, lemon, and orange, as they give natural flavor to your water. You can also add a few mint leaves.

How many glasses of water do you drink every day? Do you use hydration apps to remind you to drink? Tell us in the comments below, and start a conversation with our community…

Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand

Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand

What you see is what you eat! If you see chocolate bars or pastries lying on the table, you’re probably going to be tempted. To reduce your intake of processed foods, buy less, or keep them out of reach.

For example, keep candy bars tucked away, and place nuts out in the open. Keep your pantry stocked with fruits, mixed nuts, and veggies. These days many of you are working from home, so keep a bowl of freshly cut fruits on your desk instead of potato chips.

Most students eat instant ramen noodles, especially during their exam time. A healthy option is to eat apples with peanut butter. If you’re bored of peanut butter, you can make a maple cinnamon yogurt dip. Take half a cup of unsweetened yogurt, add a teaspoon of maple syrup, and a quarter spoon of cinnamon. Your yummy dip is ready!

Another easy snack is popcorn. Not ready to eat microwave popcorn. Prepare fresh popcorn by popping corn kernels on the stove with a little oil in a pan. If you have some extra time, prepare your snacks in advance. Pistachio-cranberry balls, hard-boiled eggs, kale chips, and overnight oats are wonderful to snack options.

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Switch to Whole Grains

Switch to Whole Grains - Ways to Eat Less Processed Foods

White pasta, rice, white bread, and tortillas are pretty common grocery items. But did you know that all of these are made from refined grains? These grains are extremely unhealthy for your body. So what are the alternatives?

You should choose products made from whole grains. These are very high in fiber content. Whole grains provide protection against things like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

On your next visit to the supermarket, look for brown rice, whole grain pasta, and brown bread.

Add Twist to Your Foods

Add Twist to Your Foods

Get creative in the kitchen! Add some twists to your favorite processed foods by preparing them in your kitchen. This doesn’t mean you have to be a chef! Trust me, recreating your favorite meals in a healthy way will help in the long run.

For example, if you want to enjoy spaghetti, try making zoodles. These are zucchini noodles. Not only are these delicious and gluten-free, but also nutrient-dense.

Make easy garlic parmesan zoodles! When you crave burgers, try experimenting with the patty! Try making it more nutritious like a sweet potato, quinoa, or black bean patty.

Instead of eating regular potato chips, you can make veggie chips instead. Toss some zucchini or carrot slices with a little olive oil and salt, and bake them until they’re crispy.

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Try Simple Food Swaps

Try Simple Food Swaps - Ways to Eat Less Processed Foods

There are numerous healthy swaps for processed foods. You just have to be a little pickier about what you eat. How about kombucha instead of soda? Or making your own salad dressings with olive oil and mustard sauce instead of the commercial kinds? Or swapping ketchup with homemade dips?

Whenever you want to make pasta, it’s so easy to pick a jar of tomato sauce from a nearby store. Instead of the ready-made ones, try to prepare fresh pasta sauce at home, or add fresh veggies to your pasta. Also, replace your flavored nuts with unsweetened ones, and consume frozen fruits in place of dried ones.

Eat More Veggies

Eat More Veggies - Ways to Eat Less Processed Foods

Veggies are wholesome. They are high in fiber, which promotes satiety. Veggies help curb cravings between meals. While preparing meals from scratch, always include at least one serving of veggies to increase healthy eating.

There are countless ways to enjoy veggies. A few of my favorites are preparing an okra dish or adding mixed veggies to your omelet. Adding veggies to your diet is as easy as baking cauliflower florets with some spices, or sauteing broccoli as a side dish.

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Eat Less Processed Meat

Eat Less Processed Meat

Who doesn’t love a hot dog every now and then? Sadly, the sausage in the hot dog is processed. Not only sausage but bacon and lunch meat also fall into this category. What’s wrong with processed meat? Well for one, it’s linked to several diseases like cancer.

You’ll be happy to hear that there are so many alternatives to processed meats. Salmon, turkey, and fresh chicken are better options, as they go through less processing. Lunch meats can be replaced with tuna salad, hard-boiled eggs, and chicken breast.

The best thing you can do is to incorporate more plant-based proteins into your diet like tofu, legumes, and beans.

Try Meal Prepping

Try Meal Prepping - Ways to Eat Less Processed Foods

When you’re stuck at work, or too tired to cook, ordering a pizza seems like the easiest option. Well, the reality is that it’s unhealthy. Not to mention, expensive. Don’t worry, meal prepping can save you! It will prevent you from eating junk food, while also helping you save money.

One way is to prepare meals in large batches. If you don’t want that, another way is to prepare the raw materials and ingredients required for meals that you’ll make in the coming days.

Here are a few of my favorite meal prepping tips. Morning smoothies are a go-to breakfast for many of us. Chop up all the required fruits one night before. Store them in a tupperware container, and place them in the fridge. This will save you time for chopping in the morning.

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This hack also applies to veggies. You want to add garlic for that extra bit of taste, but you usually avoid it. This is because peeling garlic takes time. You can peel the garlic cloves in advance, and store them in a container in the fridge.

You can also cut cauliflower and broccoli into small florets. Do the same with carrots and beans, and put them in glass containers. You can also prepare pasta sauce and hummus and put them in the fridge. By investing some time in meal prepping, you can reduce your number of unhealthy food choices.

Switch up Your Shopping Routine

Switch up Your Shopping Routine

Shopping for groceries is another important part of cutting back on processed foods. I know the first thing we do is make a grocery list. This is crucial, as it helps to reduce food waste, prevent unnecessary stocking of bad food, and saves money. Also, having all raw materials handy will result in effective meal planning.

When you go out to buy groceries or order them online, always try to fill your cart with healthier foods. Buy more fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.

The less junk food you have in your pantry, the less you’re going to eat. It’s just natural. Also, read the labels, and turn down the items with more sodium, preservatives, trans fat, and added sugar.

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Make Changes Slowly

Make Changes Slowly - Ways to Eat Less Processed Foods

I understand it’s hard to eliminate all processed foods from your diet. slowly start changing your food habits. Experts suggest that minor lifestyle changes will help you achieve long-lasting habits.

Each week, try practicing one or two strategies discussed in this list, and figure out what works best for you. Remember, you can still enjoy processed foods. You can also eat at your favorite restaurants. You do it in moderation.

Try adding the tips told in this article into your routine. You’ll gradually make better food choices, and become healthier. Would you like to learn more about healthy foods? Let’s keep the conversation going with a couple of more articles, shall we?

Check out The Best Healthy Breakfast Menu – 12 Healthiest Foods for Morning Or Men Should Eat Every Day – 11 Affordable Superfoods. Go ahead, click one. Or better yet, read both, and learn more about how to eat better. Did you know about these tips before reading this article? Let us know in the comments!