Sweet Geek

Thoughts on Health and Nutrition

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All Processed Foods Are NOT Created Equal

Most days I like to consider that I eat a clean paleo diet. Or maybe I should be using the term primal since I do love me some butter and cream. I have to admit though that some of my favorite foods are duh duh duh processed!

How can this be paleo? Why don’t I feel more guilty? Because not all processed foods are created equal. Rather than cling to the dogma of “no processed foods” or “processed foods ate your baby”, let’s consider why we are warned off from them.

In my book the real reasoning behind avoiding processed foods is that “It is food someone else made that if I had made it myself, I would have done it radically different”. Would I put hydrolyzed soy protein in any of my food? How about high fructose corn syrup? Maltodextrin? MSG? No, no and no! But these things (and their Frankenstein cousins) are often hiding away in popular processed foods.

So why am I still eating hot dogs and bacon?! Because I read the ingredients and I said to myself, “Hey I would make it just like this”. I have found hot dogs that only contain grass-fed beef and spices. If you are willing to shell out the dough you can even get pastured bacon without sugar or nitrates. I compromise and get organic bacon without artificial nitrates. Though while I’m on the topic of bacon, the amount of sugar used to cure it is negligible and I have no beef with natural sources of nitrates like celery powder.

All I’m saying is rules are great for getting started, you can follow them quickly and avoid the worst health offenders. But it’s a good idea to eventually understand why they were rules and replace them some informed decision making. I’ll have better long term success using my noggin’ instead of following (and eventually ditching) “the rules”.