Are you eating ultra-processed foods?
Uncover the reality of ultra-processed foods and their effects on health.
Get the 101 on ultra-processed foods
Here at beeya, we know that rigid food rules and restrictions are a slippery slope. Oftentimes, they lead to a slew of unhealthy behaviors. And of course, that’s not the goal! Today’s newsletter is all about empowering you to fuel your body with real, nourishing foods. On the other end of the spectrum? Ultra-processed foods.
What is ultra-processed food?
Think: canned soup, frozen pizza, chips, cookies, candy, sweetened breakfast cereals, soda, etc. Like the name suggests, ultra-processed foods are ingredients that have undergone intense food processing. I.e. extrusion, molding, and milling. From mom-and-pop brands—to the largest food conglomerates—highly-processed foods are manufactured across the globe.
Rather than use actual foods, these companies combine synthetic ingredients. In turn, they create addictive (yet potentially harmful) snacks, treats, and meals. These packaged foods are edible, yes. However, not in any way that maintains the integrity of nutritional content of the original ingredients. And unfortunately, we’re consuming more ultra-processed foods than ever before.
What is real food?
Unlike its ultra-processed counterpart, real food includes ingredients in their most natural state. These foods are natural, simple, and come from the earth—or eat what grows on the earth. These foods have existed for thousands of years, nourishing our ancestors. To this day, these foods are relatively in the same form. They’re often one-word foods or have labels that list a handful of ingredients (all of which are easy to read). Examples: fruits, veggies, nuts, eggs, beef, poultry, fish, etc.
Processed food swaps
Get the most bang for your nutrition buck. From savory to sweet, these are a few of our go-to processed food swaps:
- Wheat Thins → Simple Mills Crackers
- Hershey’s Chocolate → Hu Chocolate
- Fruit Loops → Lovebird Cereal
- Clif Bar → GoMacro Bars
- Orville Redenbacher’s classic popcorn → LesserEvil Popcorn
This snack plate
Most of the time, you want to reach for real, whole, and minimally-processed foods—like colorful produce and high-quality protein. After all, these support energy and nourishment on a cellular level. When it comes to snacking, forget outdated rules, like low-fat this and low-calorie that. After all, these are typically ultra-processed. Swap diet food (that’s marketed to us as healthy!) for actual, real food.
A well-balanced, minimally-processed snack plate:
½ cup sliced cucumber + 2 tablespoons hummus + 1 tablespoon raw walnuts + 1 hard boiled egg + 1 small tangerine
Swap soda for this
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We’re truly honored to support everyone in our beeya family, thank you for trusting us. Learn more about beeya here.