Monday, June 10, 2013

3 Good Reasons to Remove Processed Foods from Your Diet

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Over the years, I haven't fed my family a lot of processed foods -- or so I thought. I mean we had a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese every week, especially during our homeschooling years, but I wasn't one to make cookies and cake from a mix or to buy those dehydrated scalloped potatoes.

But as I have been reading, I am discovering that I bring a lot of processed foods into this house--things like granola bars, tasty-cakes, cereal (like Lucky Charms and Cap'n Crunch), and pancake syrup.

I have also been discovering that, while cheaper, they are also very bad for you.

 Here are my three top reasons for removing them from my diet--

1. Most things that have a long shelf life have been altered with added chemicals and fake fats. If something you want to buy has an expiration date a year or more from now (not including canned goods or things like rice and beans) then check the ingredient list. Chances are you will find several items that sound like they came from a laboratory. That is because they did.  I don't know about you, but I am not interested in ingesting chemicals.

2. Real food tastes so much better. I know it takes time and I have had to come face to face with that factor. It takes time to find a good granola bar recipe and then it takes time to make it. And then you just hope your family likes it and you don't have to throw out half of it (which did happen to me only recently!) But how delightful it is when you hit upon that recipe that your family loves and that doesn't consume too much of your time!  Take granola bars, for instance-- do a taste test of homemade ones and boxed ones. It is not even a comparison.

3. It forces me to spend more time in my kitchen. While this may at first appear like a huge negative, I discovered, in my own life, that this has led to a new interest in cooking. I never had any idea that food could be so interesting and tasty. I am enjoying experimenting with different herbs and spices. I have bought unfamiliar veggies and fruits to try. It has led me on a new adventure--one that I heartily recommend!

I hope that I have given you at least some food for thought. I know that to many of you, this task seems almost overwhelming. It must especially appear so if you are working full-time. But even little changes can go a long way towards the health of our families.

Why not take a look at your menu for the week and make small changes? Change a pizza delivery night to a homemade pizza night, made with your own whole wheat pizza crust. Or how about making baked potatoes instead of dehydrated potatoes from a box?  Instead of watching TV and snacking on store-bought cookies with your kids, why not bake homemade cookies together? Even little switches can make a difference in the health of our families.

We have a responsibility as Christian homemakers to feed our families healthy food. Let's be sure to take that responsibility seriously.

This has been shared on the Blog Hops over at  Homestead Prairie and Frugally Sustainable.

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