My BigMouth Blog | A Blog by Jason Glover

Cooking Dad: Staying Away From Processed Food

It’s easy. It’s fast. We know it’s not the best for our family, but having it every now and then shouldn’t be a big deal. A cooking dad not only has to deal with the rigors of life and job, but creating a meal that isn’t made up of food-like substances. We all know that Mother Nature is best, but when we’ve been working all day and still have a million things to do, it’s easier to make something that came out of a test tube. The scary part is that most of the time, we don’t even think about it.

Looking At Ingredients

Do you know what I like to see when I look at an ingredients list on a package? Simplicity. When I buy bread, I like to see yeast, flour, etc. I don’t like looking at it and seeing things that should be in a high school chemistry text book. There are artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and so many more artificial everything. Tell me, what’s so bad about the real colors, real sweeteners and real flavors. I don’t need my apple to be redder than nature intended. If a food’s color is so off putting that you need to change it, then that should tell you something. If a food needs to have its flavor changed in order for you to eat, don’t eat it.

Hidden Sugar in Everything

It’s been scientifically proven that sweetness increases appetite. Who hasn’t eaten a doughnut and then two seconds later was craving that second glazed covered confection. The most popular way for companies to get that sweet taste is through high fructose corn syrup. It’s a highly concentrated sweetener that is in almost everything. You may think that it’s only in things like cakes and candy bars, but it’s in almost everything. It’s in the bread we buy at the store. It’s in the waffles we put in the toaster for breakfast. It’s in almost everything and for the most part, it doesn’t need to be. There are other natural ways the foods could have been sweetened or we could have just eaten it without the sweetener. I mean, does sandwich bread really need it?

Avoiding Processed Foods

It’s not easy avoiding processed foods and the chemicals and additives that they use in them. It takes vigilance and time. We don’t want to take the time to make waffles from scratch when we can just pop premade ones in the toaster. We love the taste of those processed chips and desserts that sit on the store shelves for months at a time. If we are going to give our families the best possible chance at a healthy life, then we need to be able to give them the best fuel. Processed foods and the chemicals used in them have been linked to a myriad of health issues from cancer and heart disease to obesity. Think twice before you pop in that cardboard pizza or toaster pastry and go outside the box to healthier alternatives.

For more information about nutrition and healthy food recipes, visit www.dadsthatcook.com.