Processed Foods to Avoid for Weight Loss

What you stock in your refrigerator determines what you will be eating most the time. While having a few treats here and there can’t completely sabotage your weight loss effort, having a shelf or fridge full of unhealthy foods can. Seeing that junk food lying on the shelf is a cue to your brain to eat it. To avoid temptations, you should only stock fruits and healthy foods and avoid processed foods. Processed foods have undergone a series of processes to make them last longer or change how they look. If you’re trying to lose weight, processed foods should be on the ‘should-not-eat’ list. They are high in things like fats and sugar which are of no good use to you. Here are the processed foods to avoid for weight loss.

Refined Grains

This category includes white bread, baked goods, and white rice. Eating foods like cookies, cereals, bagels for a long time can have an effect on your waistline. What makes them inappropriate for people who want to lose weight is the fact that they have been processed in a way that removes fiber and other nutrients.

Taking out fiber means you will feel less full thus you’re likely to overeat. Additionally, lack of fiber makes the food to be digested quickly resulting in a spike in your blood sugar, hence your body over secretes the hormone insulin. Insulin is a storage hormone and if it is over-released, calories in form of fat are stored instead. However, as much as we have the refined versions of these foods, there are also unrefined versions which are healthy.

Soft Drinks

Manufacturers have a habit of adding sugar in form of cane juice, fruit juice concentrate and high fructose corn syrup to drinks like sports drinks and sodas. Research suggests that a diet high in sugar contributes to the development of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Plus, they play a major role in obesity and obesity-related health issues. Some natural sugars also lead to weight gain if you underestimate them and go overboard on consumption. Even worse, fruit juice no longer has fiber and pulp of the whole fruit.

Processed Meat

Processed meat is packed in things like sausages, snacks and canned food. There are different forms of processing. We have foods that undergo a low level of processing although their nutrition level isn’t affected while others undergo high processing level and contain sugar, salt, and fat additives. For someone struggling to lose weight, such foods are your worst enemy and you should avoid them completely. Highly processed foods tend to be more appealing and taste even better making it hard to eat one serving.

Ketchup

They might be the best selling in the market but this favorite condiment is bad news. Taking it in moderation is fine, however, slathering it onto your burger and fries becomes problematic. No doubt ketchup tastes good but it has no natural value to our bodies. To add on to that, the tomatoes in ketchup are so diluted by sugar and salt contributing no nutritional value. Almost three-quarter of calories in ketchup come from sugar meaning you’re eating fries sprinkled with sugar. Sugar is a marker for weight gain, hence you need to watch out the next time you go using this sauce.

Candy Bars

They contain refined flour, added sugar, added oils and are extremely unhealthy. They are high in calories and low in nutrients. If you convert an average candy bar into chocolate, it would be around 200 to 300 calories. When they are strategically arranged in the stores they might tempt you into buying them. In fact, candy bars are found everywhere you go. If you’re craving snacks, you can end it by eating a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.

Conclusion

Don’t assume all processed foods are a bad choice. Some foods such as milk need processing to make them safe. Other foods can’t be suitable if they don’t undergo processing, for example, pressing seeds to make oil. However, if a certain type of food is edible in its original form, then you don’t need to buy the processed form of it especially if you aim is to lose weight. Just be selective of what you eat if you want to cut on some pounds. Note that what makes highly processed food unhealthy is the amount of sugar, fat and refined ingredients they contain. Read the label before buying and watch out for different names for sugar and misleading health claims.

All images by Pixabay

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