Processed food and sugary beverages are an unfortunate staple of the American diet.

Learn more from blogger Jess Walter on how and why to integrate healthier options into your life.  

Reducing Processed Food and Drink In The American Diet

Processed food now dominates American nutrition, making up around 70% of our diet. Pre-prepared and pre-packaged meals are commonplace in American society with an emphasis on convenience. Processing doesn’t stop at food, it also affects drinks. On average, Americans drink 44 gallons of soda per year. Faced with this fact, many Americans now want to reduce the amount of processed food and drink they eat by preparing home made meals from scratch and drinking more water from reusable bottles, but why do they want to do this and how easily can it be done?

Healthier Hydration

Sugar-sweetened beverages quickly increase the amount of unhealthy sugar consumed by Americans and replacing soda with water has a huge positive effect on sugar intake. Simply carrying a reusable bottle of tap water around with you contributes to healthier lifestyle. Keep a bottle with you in a bag on have them around the house or workplace and the temptation to reach for a soda will be reduced.

Why Reduce Processed Food And Drink?

Processed food is food which has been altered some way during preparation; this could be by freezing, canning, baking or drying. These foodstuffs often contain high levels of salt, sugar, fat and artificial additives to enhance their flavor or prolong their shelf life meaning they have a negative effect on our overall health. Moreover, high levels of salt and sugar are linked to over-consumption which can become addictive. Processed food also has an impact on the environment due to packaging, greenhouse gases created during processing the environmental impact of transportation. Many areas of America are blessed with amazing landscapes such as the Rocky Mountains and it is important that it is preserved so our children are able to continue cycling, canoeing, hiking and climbing in these areas.

How To Reduce Processed Food

When faced with the overwhelming evidence of the negative impact of processed food it come as no surprise that an increasing number of Americans are looking to change their diet to reduce the harm that processed food is having on their bodies and the environment. Effective weight loss diets replace pre-packaged processed meals with nutritious meals made from scratch from local organic ingredients. Homemade granola, salad dressing, soup, pasta sauce or yogurt is simple to make, costs a fraction of the price and is much better for your health.

It is clear that processed food in America is a huge problem to tackle but small steps can be taken to preserve our health and environment for future generations.