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Processed Is Still Processed.

More people are concerned with buying local or organic foods, reducing waste, supporting their local natural health food stores, etc.  With the growing popularity of healthier and more naturally focused lifestyle choices, many companies have capitalized on this opportunity. Although may folks have opted more healthier food and natural options, just as many do not want give up the foods they enjoy (despite being less than healthy). I am talking about those processed foods. Soda, cereal, chips, cookies, prepackaged meals, crackers, fruit snacks are all generally considered unhealthy due to their often high caloric content, unhealthy fats, sodium, sugar, and preservatives. However, many health food stores are selling the same products. Stores such as Whole Foods sell cereals, chips, meals, etc. but these foods are being marketed as more natural options (and I am not arguing that all are not). It is important that despite that fact that a cereal may be comprised of more natural ingredients that doesn’t mean it is necessarily sooo much better for you.

Let’s examine a popular processed comfort food: macaroni and cheese.kraft                         amy

There is the ever so recognizable Kraft’s Macaroni & Cheese and there is also Amy’s Macaroni & Cheese sold stores such as Whole Foods. Let’s compare the nutrition. Both products when prepared will cost you 400 calories, at least 500 mg of sodium (Yikes!), and 47g of carbs. To be fair, I know I am using a comfort food, which is going to be unhealthy regardless of any way you spin it. The point is simply this, processed is still processed AND natural always doesn’t equal better nutritional value.

Remember when you are in the grocery store:

1.       Limit the processed foods. Many of the foods we already need, nature has prepared for us already. Try to stick with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other extremely minimally processed items.

2.       If you DO buy processed, opt for the one with less “i-can’t-even-pronounce-these-words” ingredients in it.

3.       Always look at the nutritional value. Even when buying items with more natural ingredients please don’t assume that it has less calories and trick yourself into believing that it is automatically better for you.

4.       Don’t get frustrated. Developing healthier eating habits can take a good amount time. Unfortunately there are many things that can get you off track but it’s important always jump back on!

Peace, love, and coconuts!

– Nalani

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