What are minimally processed products? Simply put, they are products that have been minimally altered from their natural state. This means that the ingredients have been left largely intact, and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives have been added. Why should you buy them? There are many benefits to consuming minimally processed items! Keep reading to find out more.
What Does Minimally Processed Mean?
The term “minimally processed” is regulated by the FDA, which defines it as follows: “ minimally processed foods are those that have been altered from their natural state in order to make them safe for consumption and/or to extend their shelf life. However, these products must still retain most of their original physical and chemical characteristics.”
In other words, minimally processed products are as close to their natural state as possible – and this is a good thing! Why? Because minimally processed foods retain more of their nutritional value than highly processed foods. They also tend to be lower in added sugar, salt, and fat.
Is it Just Food That Can Be Minimally Processed?
No – minimally processed products can include both food and non-food items. For example, minimally processed personal care products are those that contain only a few ingredients and have undergone minimal processing (e.g., cold-pressed oils).
On the other hand, highly processed personal care products often contain synthetic ingredients and fragrances and have undergone multiple rounds of processing (e.g., heat-treated and chemically treated).
So, minimally processed products are better for you – both in terms of nutrition and safety. When it comes to food, minimally processed items include things like:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Dried fruits and vegetables
- Unprocessed meat and poultry
- Nuts and seeds
- Milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Beans and lentils
Some minimally processed products include things like:
- Essential Oils
- Handwoven items like rattan decor or baskets
- Clay pots
- Unbleached cotton items
- Carved wood and bamboo items
As you can see, there are plenty of minimally processed products to choose from! So next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to stock up on these healthy items.
The Benefits of Minimally Processed Items
Now that you know what minimally processed items are and where to find them, it’s time to learn about the benefits of consuming these products. Here are just a few reasons why minimally processed items are good for you:
They’re More Nutritious
As mentioned earlier, minimally processed foods retain more of their nutritional value than highly processed foods. This means that they’re a more nutritious option overall.
They’re Lower in Added Sugar, Salt, and Fat
Minimally processed foods also tend to be lower in added sugar, salt, and fat – which is great news if you’re trying to eat healthy!
Minimally processed products are also generally safer than their highly processed counterparts. This is because minimally processed items have fewer synthetic ingredients and fragrances, and they’ve undergone less processing overall.
They’re Better For the Environment
Minimally processed products are also better for the environment. This is because minimally processed items require less energy and water to produce, and they generate less waste overall.
Why Are Processed Food and Products Bad?
Processed foods are those that have been altered from their natural state. This can include adding or removing ingredients, as well as changing the physical structure of the food. Many processed foods are also high in salt, sugar, and fat, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Processed foods are often less nutritious than minimally processed or unprocessed foods. This is because processing can destroy nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Processing can also add unhealthy ingredients, like sugar and sodium, to foods.
Eating a diet high in processed foods has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. So, if you’re looking to improve your health, it’s best to avoid processed foods and eat more minimally processed or unprocessed foods.
Processed products also contribute to environmental pollution. The packaging and processing of these products use a lot of resources and create a lot of waste.
So, minimally processed products are not only better for your health, but they’re also better for the environment. So next time you’re at the store, make sure to look for minimally processed products!
Where Can I Buy Minimally Processed Items?
Now that you know all about the benefits of minimally processed items, you may be wondering where you can purchase these products. Luckily, minimally processed items are widely available – both online and in brick-and-mortar stores.
Here are a few places to buy minimally processed items:
- The farmer’s market
- Whole Foods
- Local small businesses
- Specialty stores like Trader Joe’s
Now that you know all about minimally processed items, be sure to start incorporating them into your diet and lifestyle! You’ll be glad you did.
Do you have any favorite minimally processed foods or products? Let us know in the comments below! And if you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with your friends and family. Thanks for reading!