Processed foods may be convenient and sometimes cheaper, but don’t underestimate how they can damage our health in the long-run.
5 easy steps, to wean yourself off refined, processed foods:
- Avoid anything that comes in a packet with a bar code and a list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. These are ultra-processed foods, which cause inflammation in the body. The exception to this would be rice and rolled oats, which are not processed.
- Balance your meals with good quality protein (fish, chicken, eggs, meat), good fats (olive oil, olives, avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, fish, fish oils, nut butters) and a load of fibre (vegetables, fruit, seeds). When these macronutrients are in every meal, we quickly lose our cravings for sweet and savoury carbohydrates like cereal, bread and biscuits. Occasionally add rice and/or rolled oats a few times a week. Very very occasionally have some bread or pasta, as these are processed.
- Get used to preparing meals again from scratch. Takeaways and re-heated meals are convenient but low in quality, fresh enzymes for digestion, fibre and are often loaded with preservatives, emulsifiers, gums (which upset the gut), sugar and salt.
- Relish what is on your plate – cook clean foods (from fresh raw ingredients) and take the time to savour the flavour! Many of us rush through our meals and neither appreciate what we are eating, nor digest it properly.
- Allow your palate time to change – when you eat less processed foods, you will gradually lose your taste for very sweet or salty foods.