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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > March 2017 > KNOW THE PROCESS

KNOW THE PROCESS

Mention ‘processed food’ and most of us think of pot noodles and foods with a list of E numbers. But what about that white loaf, box of corn flakes or can of beans? Jennifer Low lifts the lid on food processing…

COOKING FROM SCRATCH is generally the healthiest way to eat, for the simple reason that it allows you to control the ingredients used in your meals. Fast-food burgers, low-quality sausages and brightly coloured sweets have, understandably, come under increased attack from those concerned with promoting a healthy eating message. But the stance of wellness ‘experts’, clean eaters and raw food crusaders who deny the nutrition value of any processed foods should be viewed with caution. After all, our daily loaf and pint of milk are processed, but they don’t fall into the same category as a ready meal high in salt, sugar and saturated fat. So what’s the difference?

WHAT IS A PROCESSED FOOD?

IN ITS SIMPLEST FORM, the term ‘processed’ can be applied to all foods that have been changed in some way. If we’re being pedantic, even the foods we cook from scratch could be described as being processed. Boiling, roasting, frying and baking are all forms of food processing, as are preparation techniques such as chopping, grating, peeling and mashing. Canning, freezing, drying and pasteurising count as food processing techniques, too, but they don’t necessarily make a food unhealthy.

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About Healthy Food Guide

You can eat carbs! Our dietitian discusses how good carbs can help with your weight loss and energy levels. We find out how one reader reversed his type 2 diabetes through diet, and get an expert update on clean eating and the processed foods you SHOULD be eating. Plus, our food psychologist reveals how you can take control of your willpower and say no to office cake. All this plus 30 calorie–counted recipes in the March issue of Healthy Food Guide.
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