The words “minimally processed” are usually a good thing to see on a food label, but take note if you are one of the many people who struggle with portion control on nutritious foods like:
- peanut butter, almond butter, tahini
- olive oil
- whole grain cereals
- rice cakes
- any bread or cracker
- ground meat
- all-fruit jam or spread
- anything made in a blender, like smoothies
- anything else that didn’t arrive straight from the farm.
While minimal processing is sure better than heavy processing, keep in mind that any food gets less satisfying and filling when it is chopped, heated, ground up, pressed, juiced or otherwise exposed to some of the work of digestion that your own teeth, stomach or intestines were going to have to do.
Anything ground up is chewed less and swallowed faster. The faster you can eat something, the easier it is to overeat it. The faster it digests, the sooner you will be hungry again.
So if you struggle with overeating the healthy stuff, try this experiment and see how much less food you consume:
For one week, replace any processed foods with the completely unprocessed version, such as:
- Replace hummus with whole chickpeas, sesame seeds, lemon juice, herbs, garlic and olives
- Replace peanut butter with peanuts in the shell
- Replace all-fruit jam with fresh fruit
- Replace rice cakes with brown rice
- Replace whole grain cereal or breads with actual whole grains
- Replace olive oil with olives
- Replace smoothies with a bowl full of the unblended ingredients
- Replace corn tortillas with corn on the cob
- Replace ground beef with steak
The unprocessed versions will slow you down, fill you up, boost your metabolism, and you probably will get leaner without even trying.
Have a good week!