Did the Food Pyramid Make Us Fat? | Freethink Wrong
Is There an Upside to Processed Food?
Convenience Can Be Overpriced
What's more, many processed foods create a deceiving illusion of convenience. Do we really need pouches of pureed fruit when we can just grab an apple, banana, or handful of grapes? Is a snack bar really any "easier" than a handful of nuts? And sometimes convenience foods just aren't worth the added cost, at least by my own calculation. For the price of a few packages of fully-cooked brown rice or other grains, you can buy a small rice cooker that will do all the work for you while you tackle something else on your to-do list.
The American Society for Nutrition statement also highlights ways that the food industry is making processed food healthier. For example, companies are utilizing high-pressure processing techniques that ensure food safety while destroying fewer delicate nutrients, researching natural antimicrobial agents that can help reduce food spoilage and waste, and finding shelf-stable ways to add healthy ingredients like probiotics and omega-3 fats to products.
Seeking a 'Less Processed Happy Medium'
While some of these developments may be beneficial, I believe that creating "better-for-you" packaged food can only go so far in helping Americans to eat healthier. We need to give people the resources and knowledge they require to prepare a more whole foods-based diet and reduce reliance on convenience, restaurant, and fast food. That includes teaching basic cooking skills in schools and communities and educating people on how to prepare quick, healthy meals at home using simple ingredients. Every family has to find their own balance of convenience, cost, and health when it comes to food (you can't have it all, unfortunately), but my hope is that we can all find a less-processed happy medium.
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