What are they?
There are different layers in the definition of processed food. When the food gets this label in our app it's because we believe it's gone through some kind of alteration and has been combined with other ingredients such as sweeteners, spices, flavours, colours, and preservatives in order to get a longer best-before date.
Why do we need them?
We don't need them to survive. When losing weight, trying to live healthier or gaining weight healthily, it can be smart to exclude these foods as much as possible, since most of them contain ‘empty calories’ - foods with a lot of energy but few nutrients. You'll find this label mostly on lower rated foods in our app.
What if I have too much?
There is an upper limit/recommendation for this category of food that says maximum 10 E% of your daily calorie intake. If the largest proportion of your daily calorie intake consists of processed foods, there is a greater risk you aren't getting all the essential vitamins and minerals you need, and that you'll gain weight. You won't feel as energized. Think of it as if you were trying to run your gasoline car with diesel.
Foods to avoid:
What we count as processed food:
- canned fruit
- crackers, biscuits, croissants, muffins
- flavored oatmeal
- couscous, bulgur, pasta, noodles
- potato dishes (instant mashed potatoes, french fries, potato bake, gratin)
- cake mix
- dressings & sauces
- breakfast cereal/granola
- lunch meat
- ice cream, candy, cookies, chocolate, cake, bars
- carbonated drinks
- snacks (chips/ crisps, popcorn, coated nuts)
- prepared deli foods, ready meals, frozen meals, entrées, pot pies, pizza, pancakes, waffles, pies, rolls
It's easy to reach the recommended lower limit for processed food for one day, in fact it can be reached through in a single meal.* (Each meal contributes to over 10 E% of the daily calorie goal);
- 4 slices of bacon, 2 slices of white toast
- 1 small cheese burger, 1 small french fries
- 3 crackers/biscuits, 1 tbsp of jam, 1 slice of cheese
- A frozen ready made mince pie
*Calculated for a person eating 2000 calories a day.
To read more about processed food and see what we base our recommendations on, read more here: