Monday, September 17, 2012

October Unprocessed

You'll notice a new badge on the right for October Unprocessed. Click on the badge to link to the site and accept the challenge to eat no processed foods in October. I kicked the processed food thing about a year ago, thanks in part to Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food,  and while I also eliminated white flour and sugar(and artificial sweeteners) it has made a huge difference in my life.

Fifty pounds lighter, feel better, have more energy...all good stuff. Yes, I am also exercising regularly but the food is the key.

There are probably thousands of different "definitions" of "processed" food. I like to keep it simple.

If the food is something that you can make or someone with reasonable cooking skills can make in a home kitchen  from whole food such as fresh vegetables, dried foods, naturally preserved foods or sustainably raised meat and/or wild caught fish then you can consider it unprocessed. If it meets these criteria, even if you don't make it yourself it is probably OK.

Be wary, however, of things with a label or in a can or box or bottle. There is a good chance it is processed if it has a label. Read the label to be sure. If it has an ingredient that you don't keep in your kitchen or that you can't buy at the store or that you can't pronounce it is processed. If it has more than five ingredients then it is also probably processed. Just remember Michael Pollan's rule:

"If your grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food then it probably isn't."

Lastly, real food, unprocessed food tastes better in addition to being better for you and if nothing else matters then go for the taste of real food. As a bonus eating real food will save you on your grocery bills as well.

As for the "white flour" and sugar thing. Both are simple carbohydrates and and as such hit the blood stream quickly causing insulin to spike and insulin is what make the body store food as fat. If you don't have enough insulin or it is poorly metabolized (insulin resistance) then the excess glucose in your blood causes all kinds of problems especially nerve damage. Not a good thing.


karmanot said...

That last paragraph is very important. I would also recommend consulting the Glycemic Index and The Glycemic Load Index.

fallenmonk said...

Good point about the glycemic index as it is important as well.