How can I eat less ultra-processed foods?

For readers looking to have less ultra-processed foods in their diet,

Morales said the simple adage “slow food is good and fast food is bad” can be a good guide.

“Preparing one’s own meals with healthy, ‘whole’ ingredients and eating foods that are minimally processed is a great start, but difficult for many accustomed to the conveniences of ‘faster’ foods and those who live in food desertsTrusted Source,” he continued. “Specifically, the foods to avoid would be sugary drinks, fried food, high salt content foods, simple carbohydrates, red meat, and pork. Unprocessed and raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and moderate intake of white meats should be the types of foods we strive to incorporate to optimize our body and brain health.”

Aside from meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist to understand what a person specifically needs to optimize their cognitive health and function, Richard recommended readers arm themselves with education and resources and ask themselves:

  • Do I have access and the ability to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables packaged in their own skin, five different ones in a day?
  • Could I cook more meals at home in a day or during the week with the main ingredients being food itself — not filler ingredients, salt, sugar, or preservatives but add my own herbs and spices?
  • Could I add one simple habit on a daily basis to support my brain and heart? Examples may include: eating a handful of walnuts, drinking 60-80 ounces of water instead of diet or regular soft drinks or sweetened tea, getting 10 minutes of fresh air 3 times a day, going for a brisk walk
  • Could I try a new recipe with foods like beans, fish, and “new to me” vegetables