We all know that packaged and processed foods are a total no-no, that we should steer clear of them at any costs. But did you know that there are a lot of premade foods that are also best avoided? If you want to be healthy, here is a list of premade foods you might want to cross off your shopping list:
For many, this will be a tough one, as they often use canned soups to make proper soups, stews, casseroles, roasts, and many other delicious dishes. Canned soups aren’t inherently bad, and they still do contain a decent amount of nutrition compared to fresh ingredients. However, canned soups typically contain A LOT of sodium, way more than is recommended for your daily healthy intake. Sodium can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure when consumed in excess. It’s better to make your own soups and broths from scratch using raw ingredients, even if it takes a bit longer.
Pre-minced garlic not only tastes different from fresh garlic, it’s also less nutrient-rich. When you cut garlic, you release the flavor-producing compound known as allicin. However, after the garlic is minced, the allicin and other compounds begin to decay. Even though manufacturers use preservatives to try and keep the garlic as fresh as possible, it’s never as good for you as straight up fresh-chopped garlic. Your best bet is to buy whole garlic cloves in a jar or fresh heads of garlic and only chop them as you need them.
Buying lemon juice and orange juice may seem like a good idea, but the sad truth is that the delicate nutrients in citrus fruits immediately begin to break down as soon as they are exposed to oxygen. It’s rare that you’ll see 100% natural juice free of preservatives and sulfites, and that’s due to the fact that citrus juice doesn’t store well on its own. Orange juice tends to be high in sugar and contains none of the fiber that makes oranges healthy, and bottled lemon juice is rarely as rich in antioxidants or Vitamin C as fresh-squeezed.
It may save you a bit of time, but pre-sliced mushrooms tend to be drier and lose a lot of their flavor. Worse, the jarred slice mushrooms get slimy and have a very noticeable taste, all thanks to the liquid used to preserve them. You’re better off buying mushrooms whole and slicing them yourself!
While salad dressing isn’t all fatty cream-based stuff like Ranch and Caesar, the truth is that even the best vinegar-based salad dressings tend to have some artificial flavorings and preservatives. Vinegar, olive oil, and spices don’t have a very long shelf life once exposed to oxygen, so the only way the manufacturers can keep their salad dressings from spoiling is by adding a lot of chemicals. Better you spend a few minutes mixing up your own healthy, flavorful dressing at home!
Granola is a food many people buy because they believe it’s “healthy”, but the truth is that it’s usually loaded with sugar. Oats aren’t naturally sweet, so manufacturers have to include sugar, honey, corn syrup, or some other sweetener to make the toasted oats so delicious. Then, of course, they add in raisins and other dried fruits, which are essentially concentrated sugar bombs with only a fraction of the nutrition found in the raw fruit. You can make your own granola at home very easily, and it will be far healthier than anything you can buy in supermarkets or grocery stores.