Processed Foods

No Snacks, no sweets, no seconds. Except on Days that start with S. Too simple for you? Simple is why it works. Look here for questions, introductions, support, success stories.

Moderators: Soprano, automatedeating

Post Reply
wosnes
Posts: 4168
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Processed Foods

Post by wosnes » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:17 pm

Over the weekend I found an article titled What Is Processed Food? at Mindful Eats.

20+ years ago there was a diet book for children called The Stoplight Diet. Foods were coded red (high calorie), yellow (moderate calorie), and green (low calorie). Green foods could be eaten as desired with more moderate consumption of foods coded yellow and red foods should be consumed sparingly.

This reminded me of that. Whole foods should make up the bulk of our diet with lightly processed foods being consumed moderately. Totally processed foods should be consumed rarely. To put it another way, whole foods should make up 80% of our diet with the lightly processed making up most of the remaining 20%. The totally processed foods should probably be consumed so infrequently as to be a low single-digit percentage -- or even 0% -- of the diet.

My own 2¢ worth is that many folks eat 80% (or more) yellow and red foods and 20% (or less) of the green foods -- which is the major reason we have issues with weight and health.

Here's another one -- different percentages but the same line of thinking (and some other habits):
Get Healthy Now: Eight Ways to Look Better, Feel Better and Have Fun
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

marygrace
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:30 am
Location: austin, tx

Re: Processed Foods

Post by marygrace » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:18 pm

wosnes wrote:
My own 2¢ worth is that many folks eat 80% (or more) yellow and red foods and 20% (or less) of the green foods -- which is the major reason we have issues with weight and health.
Agreed. Though the stoplight system was developed for children, and it's just that---childish. Adults shouldn't need anything like this (though many in America probably do).

I do also want to point out that I think the tide is definitely changing. Over the last year or two, there's been a huge shift towards "real" (what a strange term---all food is real if it exists on this planet, it's not imaginary) food with whole, unprocessed ingredients. But take a walk through the prepared foods aisle at a place like Whole Foods, and you'll see that even this "real" food isn't always good for you. Sure, a bacon cheeseburger made from all-natural meat, a whole grain bun, unprocessed cheese and a slice of organic cake trumps a McDonalds quarter pounder and apple pie thing any day for all kinds of reasons---but it won't help you lose weight. I think some people have started to focus on whole foods in this country, but in doing so have taken it as a pass to eat whatever they want whenever they want (so long as it's "real"). How else can you account for organic chicken nuggets or the ridiculous amount of all-natural/organic bakeries popping up that play on themes of cuteness and nostalgia?

Mollie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:40 am
Location: Kingston, ON

Post by Mollie » Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:52 pm

Though the stoplight metaphor comes from a book geared toward children I think it's a valuable and simple way for adults to look at food as well. Everyday Systems is based on simplicity, after all, and we're all here for that reason. It's easy to be overwhelmed by our bad habits and feel like there's no easy or simple way to address the problem. When we discover tools that make the process more manageable who cares if they're 'childish'?

Since for most of us food becomes an obsession as we try to shift our way of eating it's been a relief (at least for me) to have six easy words to repeat to myself when I start thinking of what I can't have in that moment. I just remind myself, "no snacks, no sweets, no seconds," and it helps. It probably sounds pretty childish to those still counting points or carbs or grams of food. So basic. How could it work?

As someone who needs to cut back on the processed food I think it could be very helpful to me to have another simple formula like red, yellow, green. I won't have to overthink it too much, or feel like I'm trying to follow too many strict rules. Thanks for the articles, Wosnes. I found them very interesting! :D

User avatar
~hf
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 6:28 pm
Location: Ca

Post by ~hf » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:34 pm

Mollie wrote:Though the stoplight metaphor comes from a book geared toward children I think it's a valuable and simple way for adults to look at food as well. Everyday Systems is based on simplicity, after all, and we're all here for that reason. ........... It probably sounds pretty childish to those still counting points or carbs or grams of food. So basic. How could it work?

As someone who needs to cut back on the processed food I think it could be very helpful to me to have another simple formula like red, yellow, green. I won't have to overthink it too much, or feel like I'm trying to follow too many strict rules. Thanks for the articles, Wosnes. I found them very interesting! :D
I agree!

Seeing as how No S has been developed around a similar idea (except our reds, greens and yellows concern days of the week instead of certain foods) I see how this could be of value to those if us who are trying to make changes in manageable steps. Initially, on No S, it doesn't really matter what you eat so long as it is at the right time (meal time) and is not a sweet or second. You are laying a foundation that enables weight loss (and many, including myself have lost weight just by doing this alone), when that habit is established it then becomes possible to concentrate on what kinds of foods we are choosing at those meal times...enabling further weight loss. Makes sense to me. Thanks W!

wosnes
Posts: 4168
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Post by wosnes » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:42 pm

marygrace, I'd like to think that the tide is changing -- and from what I read, it seems to be. What I see at the grocery, however, doesn't indicate that it is changing much at all. It doesn't matter if it's Whole Foods or Wal Mart, there's a lot of processed foods going out the door.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

User avatar
Dandelion
Posts: 693
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:42 am

Post by Dandelion » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:06 am

I have been thinking something similar Wos. After all we know about HFCS, trans fats, etc, it doesn't seem to make any difference in what the average person purchases - and eats. Junk is the norm - cheetos, pop tarts, granola bars, soft drinks, lunchables, a sea of chemicals instead of food. And many people don't even know what GMO means - let alone why to avoid it.

My son came home the other day complaining about something he saw at school. It was a step by step on 'how to make pizza'. It was 'open the packet of dough...', 'open the sauce packet..' 'Open the cheese packet...' But a whole lot of people out there consider that 'cooking'.

wosnes
Posts: 4168
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Post by wosnes » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:35 am

Dandelion wrote:
My son came home the other day complaining about something he saw at school. It was a step by step on 'how to make pizza'. It was 'open the packet of dough...', 'open the sauce packet..' 'Open the cheese packet...' But a whole lot of people out there consider that 'cooking'.
I think a big part of the reason your son is seeing that at school is because any education that has to do with food is paid for by Big Food. Unfortunately, I think a lot of dietitians' education is also paid for by Big Food.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

noni
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:01 pm

Post by noni » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:43 am

I was talking to a young woman who struggles with her weight who says her diet of processed foods keeps her overweight. When her foreign mother-in-law visited her for a couple months, she cooked for her from scratch and the weight fell off her without trying.

User avatar
Jammin' Jan
Posts: 2002
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 2:55 pm
Location: The Village

Post by Jammin' Jan » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:37 pm

Noni, it's probably all the hidden fat, sugar, and salt that's packed away in those processed foods. Cooked-from-scratch foods are much lighter. Unless you're Paula Deen, and then all bets are off. :wink:
"Self-denial's a great sweetener of pleasure."
(Patrick McGoohan's "The Prisoner")

TunaFishKid
Posts: 250
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Processed Foods

Post by TunaFishKid » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:07 pm

marygrace wrote:Sure, a bacon cheeseburger made from all-natural meat, a whole grain bun, unprocessed cheese and a slice of organic cake trumps a McDonalds quarter pounder and apple pie thing any day for all kinds of reasons---but it won't help you lose weight.
I have to disagree with this. The bacon cheeseburger is fine for any meal as long as it fits on one plate, and the cake is fine for S days. Placing any other restrictions on your diet takes you out of No S territory and into calorie counting.
~ Laura ~

wosnes
Posts: 4168
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Re: Processed Foods

Post by wosnes » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 am

TunaFishKid wrote:
marygrace wrote:Sure, a bacon cheeseburger made from all-natural meat, a whole grain bun, unprocessed cheese and a slice of organic cake trumps a McDonalds quarter pounder and apple pie thing any day for all kinds of reasons---but it won't help you lose weight.
I have to disagree with this. The bacon cheeseburger is fine for any meal as long as it fits on one plate, and the cake is fine for S days. Placing any other restrictions on your diet takes you out of No S territory and into calorie counting.
I agree with both of you! There are those of us for whom a cheeseburger eaten frequently is too many calories for routine consumption. There are those of us who can probably eat cheeseburgers daily and not worry about the calories. Cake is for S days or events.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

mrsj
Posts: 491
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:06 am
Location: Denmark

Post by mrsj » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:40 am

I have to agree that a homemade bacon-cheese burger and homemade fries (baked in the oven) is a lot healthier than from a fast food joint. All fast food joints add sugar to everything-even french fries- to make you addicted to their junk. Now, I don't add sugar to my hamburger patties or to my fries. I use lean ground beef and real cheddar cheese instead of that plastic processed stuff. And I made this for dinner yesterday.
Nothing is impossible-only improbable.

TunaFishKid
Posts: 250
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Post by TunaFishKid » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:14 pm

I'm sorry, but I don't get all the talk of calories or lean ground beef. The whole point of No S is to not to have to do any accounting, whether of calories or fat grams or anything else.
~ Laura ~

User avatar
BrightAngel
Posts: 2093
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:22 pm
Location: Central California
Contact:

Post by BrightAngel » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:36 pm

TunaFishKid wrote:I'm sorry, but I don't get all the talk of calories or lean ground beef. The whole point of No S is to not to have to do any accounting, whether of calories or fat grams or anything else.
TunaFishKid,
Yes, your statement is very true about "Vanilla NoS",
except even Reinhard keeps his food amounts down...
Notice his words "sometimes"...he doesn't eat extras EVERY S day,
and "Don't be an Idiot"...he works to avoid behavior he finds gluttonous...even on S days.

However, many of us (especially smaller, older women) find
that "Vanilla NoS" ( i.e. NoS, exactly the way Reinhard does it) doesn't work for us,
and we need to make individual modifications to the No S Plan.
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

TunaFishKid
Posts: 250
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Post by TunaFishKid » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:30 pm

BrightAngel wrote:TunaFishKid,
Yes, your statement is very true about "Vanilla NoS",
except even Reinhard keeps his food amounts down...
Notice his words "sometimes"...he doesn't eat extras EVERY S day,
and "Don't be an Idiot"...he works to avoid behavior he finds gluttonous...even on S days.

However, many of us (especially smaller, older women) find
that "Vanilla NoS" ( i.e. NoS, exactly the way Reinhard does it) doesn't work for us,
and we need to make individual modifications to the No S Plan.[/color]
Yes, I understand about not being an idiot, lol, and "sometimes". I just think that calorie counting and worrying about lowfat anything is antithetical to the whole idea of No S.

BTW, I'm a small-boned, 52 year old woman who is having success on "vanilla" No S. Yes, my weight loss is very slow (about 3 pounds per month), but slow and permanent is way better than the alternative. I've just reached the 20 pound mark and people are finally starting to notice. (I guess the loss has been so slow that it only just started to be noticeable.)
~ Laura ~

User avatar
~reneew
Posts: 2185
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:20 pm
Location: midwest US

Post by ~reneew » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:11 pm

There is so much debate over what is a technical definition for "organic" and "processed" foods. The stop light idea is a good simple way to visualize it if you need to. I agree that most people could eat more natural foods and cooking from scratch is the best way to do that. I do, and I prefer to not do the accounting.
TunaFishKid wrote:I'm sorry, but I don't get all the talk of calories or lean ground beef. The whole point of No S is to not to have to do any accounting, whether of calories or fat grams or anything else.
I agree.
I guess this doesn't work unless you actually do it.
Please pray for me

Post Reply