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Are Processed Foods "Bad"?

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Replies

  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    I think having processed foods in ones diet is fine but that if you ate only processed foods you would likely end up with gaps in your nutrition beyond just the obvious vitamins which often are intentionally added to processed foods.

    Yeah, agree. Taking your definition of processed foods especially (which is somewhat different from mine), I think this is certainly true. It's also why I tend to think it's important to eat nutrient dense foods rather than thinking it can all be supplied by supplements (inc vitamins). There's more to why the foods are beneficial than the things we've identified, probably. Also why I think a varied diet is a good idea and generally am not big on cutting out food groups.

    That's why the so called "clean" approach or the demonization of processed foods as "bad" is a misunderstanding. The problem with a poor diet is that it's a poor diet, that it's lacking things that SHOULD be in it, not that you eat some particular amount (such as ANY) of some food that might be less beneficial. Often what I see is people who focus on NOT eating what they've demonized or decided is the problem rather than focusing on what would help in constructing a good diet, and then eating whatever else fits in also (in moderation). Thinking that eating a little "processed" food is really going to determine whether your diet is good or not is IMO a silly way of thinking about nutrition, a focus on the wrong things.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,121 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    I think having processed foods in ones diet is fine but that if you ate only processed foods you would likely end up with gaps in your nutrition beyond just the obvious vitamins which often are intentionally added to processed foods.

    Yeah, agree. Taking your definition of processed foods especially (which is somewhat different from mine), I think this is certainly true. It's also why I tend to think it's important to eat nutrient dense foods rather than thinking it can all be supplied by supplements (inc vitamins). There's more to why the foods are beneficial than the things we've identified, probably. Also why I think a varied diet is a good idea and generally am not big on cutting out food groups.

    That's why the so called "clean" approach or the demonization of processed foods as "bad" is a misunderstanding. The problem with a poor diet is that it's a poor diet, that it's lacking things that SHOULD be in it, not that you eat some particular amount (such as ANY) of some food that might be less beneficial. Often what I see is people who focus on NOT eating what they've demonized or decided is the problem rather than focusing on what would help in constructing a good diet, and then eating whatever else fits in also (in moderation). Thinking that eating a little "processed" food is really going to determine whether your diet is good or not is IMO a silly way of thinking about nutrition, a focus on the wrong things.

    Yeah exactly. I don't have a problem with processed foods, I just recognize that a diet consisting of only processed foods would likely be not ideal. I think too many people though, as you said, take that way to far and start demonizing processed foods as "full of toxins" or other such nonsense and are so focused on that that they sort of miss the point of getting some balance. Eating nothing but chicken breast and broccoli is likely going to leave some gaps as well after all.
  • Momepro
    Momepro Posts: 1,509 Member
    I don't have a problem against processed foods in general, but I have found that many types are just not as flavorful as more natural counterparts, and they make up for that lack with extra saltiness or sweetness. It's not necessarily bad, but it's not the same, and I usually like more natural better.
  • GaleHawkins
    GaleHawkins Posts: 8,161 Member
    I'm not really big on starting new threads especially in the debate section, but this issue comes up so frequently I thought I'd put it out there for discussion.

    I truly don't understand how processed foods have become to be so demonized by many people. I notice that so often people will post how they're avoiding processed foods as part of their "lifestyle change" (which is something else I don't really get, but is a topic for an other day).

    I've not really see a clear definition of what people mean by "processed food" either. I kind of think it's purposely left ambiguous by the marketing folks...

    I've found that for long term sustainability I need to enjoy the food I eat. I love sweets and a good, high quality alcoholic beverage on occasion. So I make sure I fit those things into my plan. I agree that to be as healthy as I can, I need to eat plenty of nutrient dense foods, but I personally don't get all the negativity about "processed foods".

    I'm grateful to live in a society where I can have access to lots of healthy, nutritious food that's also quick and convenient because someone else has already don't much of the processing for me.

    I'm certain my diet would not be nearly as healthy or varied if I had to mill my own bread, kill my own animals for meat and harvest my own fruits and vegetables.

    Thank goodness for modern food processing techniques. My life is so much better because of it.

    What do you think?

    I think processed/unprocessed food can both be good or bad food choices.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Yeah, there have been many threads/posts where people insist "processed foods" are inherently bad in any amount (or that it's impossible to moderate "processed foods," as if everyone was the same and as if there weren't a huge variety of foods that count as processed. That claim also is the basis for "clean eating" in most of its forms.

    There are many sources of these ideas in the dieting world too, which is where a lot of people seem to get them (the toxins stuff).
  • BioQueen
    BioQueen Posts: 694 Member
    Like many others say, there are no bad foods. That being said, I try to eat less processed foods because they tend to cause me more bloating and general abdominal discomfort compared to natural foods -for me- (as a blanket statement). When I have less bloating etc, I feel better and I am happier in my body. I think there are a lot of reasons for that but it doesn't mean I'm not going to have something with preservatives or something I can't pronounce every now and again.
  • neugebauer52
    neugebauer52 Posts: 1,115 Member
    I am mostly interested in food which grows on trees, grows on or in soil or water, can swim, fly or runs about. Mind, not the human kind.....
  • kds10
    kds10 Posts: 450 Member
    I had a coworker criticize me for using store bought salad dressings she said wow, I am surprised that you just don't make your own. I felt guilty not sure why. I agree there is a level of snobbery when people say I eat clean don't you??
  • DWBalboa
    DWBalboa Posts: 36,405 Member
    All things in moderation.

    No matter what or how you eat you are going to die in the end. So might as well enjoy life why you got it.

    I still like “Merican” cheese on my grilled cheese sammiches and burgers. I still have a beer, wine, and drink liquor from time to time. Hell if I want a Krispy Kreme donut, I'll have a K&K donut. If I want Ramen and I'm talk street Ramen! Straight out of the store brought bag! Guess what? I have it. And I add all kinds of stuff to it, ground beef, eggs, processed sausage! The point is I do it in moderation and I try and keep it with in my caloric allowance for the day.

    Hell the fact is sometimes I exercise like I do so I can have the latitude to eat the way I do.

    Just to be clear, I exercise because I love to and I want a better quality of life, as well as to lead by example for my lil rug rats.

    So eat what you want, just do it with moderation and within your caloric allowance.

    And in case it ain't obvious I drink a LOT of coffee! FYI, with Irish creme whiskey in it too. Just a splash though.

    Goditi la vita!
  • tennisdude2004
    tennisdude2004 Posts: 5,609 Member
    edited May 2018
    Processed foods containing trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils are not great for you. But consumed in moderation they are not 'bad'.

    There are plenty of processed foods in the market which are much 'less' healthy than they should be and contain high levels of inflammatory food - these are not helpful to the things like joint pain or healthy cholesterol. But again moderation is the key.

    I'm just curious, what do you mean by "inflammatory foods"?

    ETA: That's another term I've seem a lot but don't actually know what it means.

    They are foods that cause inflammation in the joints and also foods that oxidise cells which are are harmful to cholesterol!

    I still don't understand. You used the term inflammation to define inflammatory foods. Can you point to examples of foods and also the research that backs it up? Thanks in advance.

    There are literally thousands of articles on the net and a whole host of peer reviewed studies .

    Here’s a link to get you started!

    https://www.washington.edu/wholeu/2016/09/28/fighting-inflammation-with-food/

    Silly question, why is inflammation bad?

    Too much inflammation is bad!

    Maybe give the article a read and do a bit of further research. Plenty of peer reviewed studies avaible regarding the health implications of chronic inflammation.

  • tennisdude2004
    tennisdude2004 Posts: 5,609 Member
    Was it chronic inflammation?