The amount of processed food we eat is staggering. If you’re not feeling healthy, this may be one of the major culprits. So, what are the best ways to cut out processed foods? Start by reducing white flour, refined sugar, and other fats and oils. Now you may be thinking, “What can I eat then?” Everything! You don’t have to stop eating your favorite foods, just change out a few of the ingredients. Read on for some great alternatives to these over processed ingredients.
White and Enriched Flour
Although white flour is more shelf-stable than other flours, this stability comes at a cost. White flour has had the healthiest components, the bran and germ, removed leaving only the endosperm. Even enriched white flour isn’t overly healthy for you. White flour has been connected to weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and digestive issues. As an alternative, consider using whole wheat flour. This flour will give your food a healthier earthy taste. Although this can take some getting used too, many find that they prefer the richer taste over time. Other options that you should check out include spelt flour, rye flour, and brown rice flour.
There are several side effects of eating processed sugar that are harmful to your health. These include things like excess belly fat, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. But getting rid of refined sugar doesn’t mean you have to stop eating tasty treats. You could trade out refined sugar for dates. You can make a natural sweetener out of blended water, vanilla extract, and dates blended. You can also try Monk Fruit extracts. Don’t use very much of this sweetener as it is much stronger than sugar. A very healthy option is to use honey. Honey has been shown to help strengthen the immune system, the cardiovascular system and reduce inflammation.
Fats and Oils
If you want to cut down on your fat and oil, then consider using avocado. Avocado is great for spreading on bread and sandwiches. Unfortunately, it’s not very good for cooking. For cooking you can use chicken or vegetable stock as a viable alternative to most oils. It is great for replacing oils when you sauté meat and vegetables.
Eating healthy can be hard. You need to break old habits and build new ones. You can start by changing what type of food you bring into the house. Instead of white flour, choose one of the alternatives listed above. Try out a few of your favorite recipes and adjust it until you get it right. If you’re having a hard time with the transition, try replacing just half of the white flour with wheat. This same advice goes for all your substitute ingredients.