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ADD THESE HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVES TO YOUR DIET TO ACHIEVE BETTER HEALTH

When it comes to food, ideally we would like to shop from the farmers market daily to buy fresh foods but in reality, most people live far away from their food sources. That is why most people buy processed foods that are more convenient. Processed food such as canned food, and pre-chopped fruits or vegetables, potato chips, cookies, bread, milk, cheese, and cereals are some regularly bought items. 

Even though processed foods can be a lot more convenient, with it comes huge quantities of hidden sugar, fat, and sodium. They even contain extra calories, oil, and salt that can cause severe harm to health. 

"Processed food is not "real food"; it is food that has been modified by chemical processes and contains additives, flavorings, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. The food is then assembled into ready-to-eat hyper-palatable food called 'Cosmetic food'. The easiest way to judge how processed the food is is to look at the length of the food label at the back of the packet. The longer the list, the more processed is the food in it," said Dr. Tejal Lathia, a Consultant Endocrinologist of the Fortis Network Hospital. He further added that a study showed that people who consumed more than four servings of processed food daily had an increased 60% chance of dying compared to those who kept their consumption levels less than two servings. 

Therefore, here is a list of 10 Alternatives that people can try instead of buying processed food. 


1. Avocado

Avocado is the perfect alternative to various processed foods such as bacon.. It contains a wide range of Vitamins, and other nutrients such as phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, and more. They also don't contain any sodium and cholesterol and contain low quantities of saturated fats. The potassium present in avocado helps in reducing blood pressure that is responsible for causing kidney failure, stroke, and heart attack. Oleic acid present in avocados is also associated with the reduction of inflammation and fighting cancer


2. Nuts

Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and various others contain good fats and protein. The fats contained in nuts are mostly Omega-3 and Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats. They are also rich in minerals and vitamins including Vitamin E and magnesium. For instance, almonds can reduce the level of bad LDL cholesterol, oxidized cholesterol, and total cholesterol that is harmful to the health of the heart. In addition to that, almonds can even reduce inflammation, and aid weight loss. Walnuts can increase the potential power of the brain. 


3. Corn Kernels

Corn contains carotenoids called zeaxanthin and lutein that boosts eye health. Corns provide the highest amount of antioxidants compared to most cereal grains. Some of these antioxidants are ferulic acid, anthocyanins, phytic acid, and more. Corn kernels are also rich in folate that is important especially during pregnancy. Corn is rich in fiber and protein that helps in maintaining bodily functions.


4. Fruits

Eating fresh fruits compared to store-bought fruit juices can be exceptionally good for health. For example, grapefruit is a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins. Eating grapefruit helps in reducing cholesterol, preventing kidney stone, and insulin resistance. Pineapple is rich in bromelain that reduces the chances of cancer and fights inflammation. Other healthy fruits include blueberries, apples, mango, strawberries, cranberries, and more. 


5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are 95% made of water and the other 5% includes fiber and carbohydrates. They are a stable source of multiple minerals and vitamins like folate, Vitamin K, potassium, and Vitamin C. Tomato works against oxidative stress, inflammation, and various other factors that can lead to heart diseases. The rich lycopene content in tomatoes helps in preventing breast cancer in women. 


6. Spinach

This green superfood is nutrient-dense and the healthiest food available on the planet. While it is rich in energy but low in calories, it also contains essential folate, Vitamin K and A to the body. It is also an amazing source of iron that helps in producing hemoglobin, which in turn brings oxygen to the tissues of the body. Calcium is also present in abundance in spinach that is essential for the healthy working of muscles, heart, CNS, and bones. 


7. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans contain fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. They contain starchy carbohydrates that are beneficial for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. They even have substantial quantities of resistant starch that plays a major role in managing the overall weight of the body. Alpha-galactosides, an insoluble fiber, functions as a prebiotic that gets fermented, improves colon health as well as prevents colon cancer. 


8. Lentils

Lentils are packed with a wide range of essential nutrients such as B-vitamins, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. They are an excellent choice of meat alternative. Lentils are also filled with iron. They are an amazing source of polyphenols, that have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties along with potential inhibiting effects on cancer cells. It also helps in maintaining blood sugar levels by preventing the accumulation of homocysteine.


9. Brown Rice

It is packed with fiber, magnesium, and lignans, which is beneficial for heart health. Brown rice is complemented with a low glycemic index that greatly helps in maintaining blood sugar and reduces the chances of the development of any type of diabetes. It is also free of gluten that is responsible for causing diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain, and more. 


Processed foods are not a modern invention. People have been consuming processed food for ages. No doubt processed foods can cause a plethora of health issues and chronic diseases. That is why it is advised to keep the levels of processed food intake less than 20% daily to live a healthy life. Balancing the diet with all the above-mentioned naturally occurring foods can inevitably lead to better health in no time. 

 

Related blog: Healthy Diet Habits: Portion Awareness Tips and Tricks

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