When it comes to diet, what does “healthy” mean to you? To many, it means eating fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed grains, and water. However, processed foods are far from natural. Most processed foods are made with little or no whole food ingredients. Sugary cereals and sodas are also ultra-processed and contain additives and artificial sweeteners. In addition to increasing your risk of chronic diseases, they can cause depression and contribute to obesity.
To start eating healthier, you must eliminate unhealthy foods from your diet and replace them with healthy ones. For example, replacing unhealthy trans fats with healthy fats is a smart way to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. However, switching from animal fats to refined carbohydrates will do nothing to lower your cholesterol or improve your mood. You should also watch what you eat because manufacturers often disguise unhealthy fats and sugar in packaged foods.
Many processed foods are made from crops, and they are typically loaded with empty calories, fillers, and little nutritional value. The labels are also full of misleading claims, making it difficult to know whether or not a food is healthy or not. In one study, 60 percent of Americans misunderstood the label. So, how do you determine whether or not a food is healthy? Here’s what you need to know.