Processed doesn’t always mean less healthy

Processed doesn’t always mean less healthy

Trained dietitian and registered nutritionist Nikki Hart highlights the rationale behind food processing and in this video debunks misinformation consumers may have towards food additives as well as canned, frozen and pasteurised foods.

She says there needs to be better understanding around food processing.

“Prior to technological advances, people had no choice but to spend all day growing and making food, but where modern food became available populations grew taller and stronger, had fewer diseases and lived longer.”

Shoppers are increasingly concerned with the origin and contents of their food, but they forget that processing food enables us to have a varied nutritious diet that not only fits into our lifestyle but offers improved safety, nutrition and variety.

Safety:

  • Eating like our ancestors is becoming progressively trendy for consumers. However, we were 100 times more likely to get food poisoning in the 1800’s than we are today.
  • Canning and pasteurisation both use heat to destroy harmful bacteria so our food is not only safe to eat, but won’t spoil quickly.

Improved nutrition and variety:

  • Some foods are actually more nutritious with heating. For example, the protective antioxidant lycopene is greater when a tomato is cooked than when it’s raw.
  • Adding nutrients to foods, known as fortification, allows a greater nutrient intake in some populations.
  • Spreads and milks with reduced fats help reduce chronic diseases.