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🐄⃗ 🍔 What is a processed food? 🥬⃗ 🥗

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Eating well remains difficult not because it’s complicated, but because the choices are hard even whe
 

a good life

June 11 · Issue #101 · View online
I write thoughtful self-help.

I’ve been thinking about processed foods lately. Partly, because they’ve been in the news like crazy. The New York Times published an interesting study that had participants eating an equal number of calories in either a processed or whole foods diet. Unsurprisingly, every calorie is not created equal. The processed food participants ate 500 more calories each day to feel satiated. At that rate, gaining one pound a week is easily accomplished.
This is right in-line with principle 3: Center Your Diet Around Foods That Don’t Compel Overeating. Food that’s been altered for faster consumption gets consumed rapidly. That makes sense. What’s a little trickier is, when in the processing of a food does it become obesogenic?
My beloved black rice noodles (I mix them with a ginger-scallion relish 😋) can cause the scale to move up more quickly than just black rice alone. That tells me that although they are made from 100% whole grain, the process of turning them into a noodle makes the calories more bioavailable.
Technically, a process is anything done in the preparation of a food. Boiling potatoes, blending a smoothie, and even grating ginger is a process. So, where does one draw the line?
I don’t have an exact answer (which is why I recommend using the scale as a daily tool), but here are some actionable suggestions:
  • avoid foods with the fiber removed (white rice from brown, juice, packaged snacks)
  • think of every process as one step away from the original product, and try to stay as close as possible to the food’s original state
  • calorie counts alone don’t tell the whole story. Use them as one more layer of information, not as a primary decision-maker
  • alcohol is a highly processed food (yep, sorry)
to your good life!
Rebecca
PS. I’m back from a small break. From time to time it helps to step back and recharge 💪🏼

I’m a big fan of this blog. It’s about cultivating good thinking, a lifelong pursuit of mine. This article caught my eye because of its emphasis on using guiding principles. Sound familiar? #notanotherdiet
The Anatomy of a Great Decision The Anatomy of a Great Decision
extra credit 🤓
This NY Times article is worth looking at if only for the pictures of the meals. You might be surprised to see what a ‘processed food’ looks like.
Why Eating Processed Foods Might Make You Fat - The New York Times Why Eating Processed Foods Might Make You Fat - The New York Times
I like anything that makes people think about systems as a whole, this piece in the Atlantic does that👇We need to have adequate support in all areas of our lives to take care of our health.
Eat Food. All the Time. Mostly Junk. – The Atlantic
Processed foods can be what you imagine, but also lots of things you don’t give much thought to.
Processed foods make us fatter, lead to cancer, and are linked with early death. But what exactly is a processed food?
Not Another Diet – Medium Not Another Diet – Medium
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