Food For Thought


Archive for January, 2012

Processed Food Diets: Are They Any Good?

There are a number of highly convenient diets around that use processed foods as the bulk or even the entirety of their diet plans. But are these diets any good? Are they healthy? The answers to those questions should be as obvious as they are controversial, but not everyone would agree that they are not actually any good for helping people to lose weight.

The problems associated with processed foods generally lie in their composition and you will get all sorts of unhealthy junk go into them from trans fats to high levels of salt and sugar, artificial flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate, preservatives, colors and sometimes artificial sweeteners. None of these things is healthy, but there they are in a wide range of processed “diet” meals that you can buy at supermarkets or that get included in some diet programs.

One question that is often asked by would-be dieters is about the composition of Nutrisystem diet plans (see for more details), since they comprise a lot of processed meals. The answer is that although many of the meals are processed, things like trans fats, artificial flavors and colors are not present or in such low amounts as to be dismissible.

That may be true for the home delivered diet food, but what about the supermarket equivalents that are often labeled as “healthy diet meals”? Often all you get are meals that are low in calories. That is usually achieved by simply making the portions smaller! Although some are better than others, you will often find a whole host of unhealthy additives in these so-called healthy meals and so it is important for people to carefully read the labels on the packs before buying them.

It is better to be safe than sorry and there is nothing worse than trying to lose weight by eating meals that are so full of unhealthy additives that they can have a detrimental effect on your health, whether you lose a few pounds or not.