I found this article this morning and it really hit home for me.
It’s so easy to fall under the sway of the idea that ALL processed foods are bad. Perhaps sometimes I use the phrase a bit too freely. Because honestly, there are lots of processed foods I enjoy almost every day:
Canned beans. Frozen vegetables. Just about all spices. Milk and dairy products. Meats. Bread and pasta (whole-wheat, of course!).
The difference here is the amount of processing a food undergoes. The problems start when things are removed (refining flour and sugar) or added (salt, sugar, preservatives, coloring, etc.). Because if you think about it, almost every bite of food you take is processed, whether it be peeling an orange or cooking a steak or frying potatoes.
The goal here is to reduce the amount of unnecessary processing.
To focus on only using ingredients that are in a state that (theoretically) you could replicate in your kitchen without crazy machines or chemicals. Could you refine your own flour at home or bleach sugar cane? Probably not.
To choose foods without unnecessary ingredients (a 10-ingredient salsa is fine if all those ingredients are actual foods).
To eat in a way that fuels your body, and doesn’t sludge up your insides.
That’s why I prefer to think of this lifestyle as eating Real Food. Foods found in nature — it’s fine to slice, dice, peel, and cook them; they’re still real. Even when they’re processed.