Are processed foods “bad”? And what are non-nutrients?
Hi, this is Neily on Nutrition. Yesterday, was talking about the macronutrients carbohydrate, protein, fat, and the calories that they had, respectively 4, 4, and 9 calories per gram. I also talked about something else that had calories and that’s alcohol. Alcohol has seven calories per gram. So in an 80 proof liquor of a shot (one and a half ounces), there are just under 100 calories. There is 14 grams of alcohol and 14 x 7 is 98, but alcohol is a non-nutrient and and it interferes with the growth, the maintenance, and the repair of body tissues. So it’s not considered a nutrient, it is not in the six classes of nutrients. There are other things that are not in the six classes of nutrients, those are additives and preservatives. Now, they are in processed and manufactured foods and I know that there is a movement and a lot of people are trying to avoid processed foods, and let me just say that I don’t avoid processed foods, I eat them every day. I eat Greek yogurt, I eat whole-grain cereal, I drink milk, I eat cottage cheese, I eat cheese, and those are all processed foods. I think though what people might be trying to say is that they are trying to maybe limit highly manufactured food-like substances, things that they might buy that don’t even resemble food of any sort. But when it comes to processing… it serve the purpose and that’s what I’d like to talk about. Before I do though I just want to to mention that recently I had a couple of products that I asked people “what do you think is the better-for-you product? These two products were potato chips and almond milk. Now, naturally people of course said almond milk, but then we looked at the packages and that’s what I want to talk to you about. We looked at the package of potato chips and the ingredient list and these were regular, fried potato chips, and the ingredients were three. Those ingredients were potatoes, oil, and salt. Then we looked at the other nutrition label and actually it had quite a number of vitamins minerals in it it, wasn’t that high in sodium, and also the type of fat was mostly the good, healthy, unsaturated fat. Now years ago, before the change in the labeling law with trans-fats, most snack type foods used to be loaded with trans-fats but that’s not the case anymore. Usually, mostly they are made with unsaturated oils… not a bad thing. The nutritional profile of these ingredients, which you can find in your home is not that bad. Now, it’s a matter of quantity, how much you eat, and limiting that, but really… definitely not a bad food. There really are no bad foods by the way, except those that are probably spoiled which actually kind of brings me to my next subject in moment. But, first I want to talk about the almond milk. So the almond milk if you look at the ingredient list is significantly longer. It has a number of things in there. The first ingredient actually is is almond milk and in parenthesis water and almonds. The second ingredient is cane sugar, and then there are some vitamins and minerals added to it as well as some additives and that’s one of the things I want to talk about. Now I know that some people are trying to eat more simply, eat more wholesome foods, fewer ingredients, more simple ingredients. Well honestly, the ingredients in the almond milk were significantly more hard to pronounce than what you saw in the potato chips… just something to think about. But, one of the additives in the in the almond milk is a very common additive that is in food, and there was nothing wrong with it because it serve a purpose, and that is to act as an emulsifier and gums. Emulsifier and gums are very common in the food industry and what they do is they’re thickeners and stabilizers and they help foods in their richness, consistency, and texture. They also help foods that normally don’t mix together to mix together. We also have antimicrobial, and antimicrobials of course help things prevent from spoiling. They also help to prevent things from growing microorganisms on there. Salt is one of the most common ones that that we find in the in the food industry. We also have a things that are called antioxidants. Antioxidants are added to foods because foods can be subject to exposure to oxygen so they can help in the prevention of damage from oxidation or exposure to oxygen. We also have some nutrients that are added to food and these are actually nutritive things, and and that is something I actually want to talk about tomorrow. I want to talk about tomorrow the difference between whole grains, refined grains, enriched grains, why we encourage the the purchase of and the use of whole grains. So the processing and manufacturing of foods can be a good thing because it serves the purpose in a number of foods. Now sure, in a perfect world we would have our own garden and grow our own food, but we don’t live in a perfect world. A lot of people have to rely on processed and manufactured foods. But we’ve got antimicrobials, emulsifiers and gums, and antioxidants and yes, we also have colorings and flavorings and artificial stuff and I’m not even going to go there because I don’t have the time right now. But here’s the thing and this is what I ask. You can choose to eat those foods or not, everybody has a choice as to what they eat, and my message and my request is this: don’t judge. You choose what you choose to eat and let everybody else choose what they choose to eat, and that’s my message. Thanks for watching Neily on Nutrition and we will see you in the next video tomorrow. Thanks for watching.