Can Processed Foods Be Healthy Infographic
There are a lot of conflicting messages about what processed food is.
Most of the food we eat today has been processed in some way, from salad mix to frozen dinners. Some processed foods have ingredients added, some are fortified to add nutrients, some are prepared for convenience, and some are packaged to last longer or for food safety. Even foods labeled “natural” or “organic” can be processed.
74% of consumers prefer less sodium in processed foods.
Almost 50% of consumers have tried to eat fewer processed foods.
What do you need to know?
Minimally processed foods have been manipulated (cut, cooked, packaged) in some way.
Some foods are processed with ingredients typically used in cooking, such as salt or sugar.
Highly processed foods are manufactured with ingredients that are not typically used in cooking.
- Choose healthier processed foods. By one recent estimate, highly processed foods contribute 50% of the calories and 90% of added sugars in the American diet.
It’s important to:
- Read food labels.
- Look for the Heart-Check mark on packaged foods.
- Make healthier choices when eating out.
- Cook more meals at home.
- Swap highly processed foods with less processed options.
- Try fruits and vegetables from the produce aisle, the farmer’s market, or your own garden.
- Shake your sodium habit. Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods, not the salt shaker.
- Watch for the top sources of sodium: breads and rolls, cold cuts & cured meats, sandwiches, pizza, soup and chicken.
http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/3/e009892 Martínez Steele E, Baraldi LG, Louzada MLDC, et al. Ultra-processed foods and added sugars in the US diet: evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study BMJ Open 2016;6:e009892. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009892. “we found that ultra-processed foods contribute almost 60% of calories”
 IPSOS internal AHA consumer research, slide 73-77
 IPSOS internal AHA consumer research, slide 24
 Benjamin et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics - 2017 Update. Circulation. 2016: I35: 00-00.
 Current source: Mente et al; Future source: Harnack et al. Circulation. May 2017
Article copyright © 2017 American Heart Association.