The Pros and Cons of “Processed Foods”
Not all processed foods are products to avoid. Here’s how to shop smart.
“You hear the term ‘processed food’ thrown around a lot these days, but you have to use common sense,” says Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of Tufts’ HNRCA Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory and executive editor of the Health & Nutrition Letter. “Even though technically ‘processed,’ pasteurized milk is safer than unpasteurized. Frozen produce, because it’s picked and frozen at the peak of freshness and ‘processed’ quickly, is as nutritious as fresh or in many cases more so. And if the convenience of ripping open a bag of baby-cut carrots makes you more likely to snack on them instead of chips or cookies while preparing dinner, that’s good fallout from processing.”