You may have read some scare stories about “ultra-processed” foods in the media over the past few years. (You know, the really scary ones that are even worse for you than “junk food”). So, what are they?
All three of the products on my post from yesterday are marketed as healthy options. The name of the bar - Kind - has connotations of doing something worthwhile for your body. The website says it has “heaps of the good stuff”. The veggie straws are marketed as an “ideal finger food” for babies and the school bars are “1 of your 5 a day”.
However, based on the NOVA classification (used in the Brazilian dietary guidelines) they’re all “ultra-processed” foods. This is because the protein bar has added soy protein isolate and the fruit bars contain maltodextrin and rice starch, all of which need to undergo industrial processing before they can be used as food ingredients. The veggie straws are made using extrusion, which is an industrial process, and they also contain ingredients that you couldn’t easily buy and certainly wouldn’t find in nature. 🌿
That is NOT to say that these products are “unhealthy”, or that there’s anything wrong with eating them at all. All three products would contribute towards meeting your daily nutrient needs and might be just the snack you need when convenience or portability is what matters. By using them as examples, I’m trying to illustrate that judging “processed” or “ultra-processed” foods as universally “bad for you” isn’t very helpful.
Bottom line: eat food that satisfies you and pay attention to what makes YOUR BODY feel good.
#ultraprocessed #processedfood #healthysnacks #eatwhatyoulove #allfoodsfit #nondiet