We often think of processed food, in general, as being not as healthy as fresh food. But unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see processed foods as unhealthy with labels like, “reduced fat,” “natural,” or even “organic.” The truth is, while organic processed foods may be a little better for you than traditional processed foods, it’s better to minimize their consumption altogether.
A recent report published in the Journal of the World Public Health Nutrition Association has grouped processed foods into three types:
Type One Processing does not much alter the nutritional quality of food, and can sometimes even improve it. This type of processing involves cleaning, removing inedible parts, grating, squeezing, drying, parboiling, freezing, etc.
Type Two Processing involves extracting or purifying certain substances from the original food. This may include pressing, milling, refining, hydrogenating, using enzymes or additives, etc.
Type Three Processing involves the creation of durable, accessible, convenient, attractive, ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat products that are excessive in total fat, bad fats, sugar and sodium, and low in micronutrients, other bioactive compounds and dietary fiber.
The report outlines how Type Three processed foods are the biggest problem when it comes to obesity, because the finished products, even though they are often presented as healthy, are by their very nature quite unhealthy.
Here is the report: