Technically cooking oats to make oatmeal and roasting coffee beans to make coffee are all examples of processing. You “process” food when you make meals at home as you boil, steam, bake, roast or otherwise transform raw ingredients to a form that you can eat. Food companies may process foods by canning, freezing, roasting or grinding to remove an inedible hull or coating. There are many processed foods and
beverages made or supplied by companies and manufacturers that are healthy and nutritious for us to consume like Greek yogurt, frozen fruits and vegetables, canned fruits and vegetables, hummus, rice, and milk.
When food items are highly processed and sugars, fats and salts are added (sometimes in large amounts) they may well foods we shouldn’t be eating on a regular basis, for example candy, French fries, sodas, and potato chips.
Bottom Line: Don’t be so quick to dismiss “processed” foods …they may be good choice depending on the product.
Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN
Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian