Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Limit Processed Foods

I am not one of those people who think that processed foods are evil. In general, I think it a good idea to keep eating foods that are normal for people to eat in my culture. This includes some processed foods, at least on occasion. I don't see much difference from one who is terrified of eating something out of a jar or box or a piece of white bread, and someone who is anorexic. The feelings and thought patterns can be the same, and with my own personal problems with routine, compulsiveness, and rule following, I want to avoid rigidness as much as possible.

At the same time, if I am eating enough fruits and vegetables, and if I am getting adequate amounts of high quality protein, there isn't going to be much room in my diet for processed foods. Also, being diabetic, I need to limit carbs, especially processed carbs and concentrated carbs like sweeteners, and I lately I have seen a correlation in myself between eating processed foods and gastrointestinal pain. So, I limit them without being rigid.

In general, I don't eat packaged foods, breads, crackers, salty or sweet processed snack foods, pasta, rice, most processed sauces, and packaged breakfast cereals. My exceptions at the moment: I eat Luna bars and some high protein/low carb nutrition bars a couple of times a week, I eat jarred spaghetti sauce on occasion (maybe once or twice a week on top of roasted or sauteed vegetables), I eat canned cream soups that I add to homemade soup maybe twice a month, I eat regular processed peanut butter a few times a week, if I am at an event that doesn't have a lot of food choices I am comfortable with I will have a whole grain cracker or two (this would be once a month or less), I eat commercially died fruit (mostly raisins and prunes), and I eat canned vegetables (spinach, beets, and mushrooms on a somewhat regular basis). Oh! I also regularly indulge in bacon, and have maybe one hot dog a month. When I write it all down like that, it seems like a lot, but I think compared to the typical American diet, it is really quite minimal, and after "eat a lot of vegetables", "avoid processed foods" is the next eating guideline I follow.

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