20 Processed Food to Avoid and a Healthier Alternative

These days, it seems like processed food is taking over the shelves at the supermarket and our kitchen, and a lot of us rely on them as well to save time. But consuming processed food in the long run is detrimental since they usually contain chemical additives such as trans fat, MSG, artificial flavouring and colouring.

If you switch to a healthier alternative, you can be eliminating the additives off from your body, and potentially decrease serious health problems like cancer as you grow older. These are the 20 processed food and its healthier alternatives:

1. Flavoured yogurt vs. plain yogurt with fresh fruit
Flavoured yogurt can contain artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners. Switch to plain, low-fat or nonfat yogurt which offers plenty of calcium and probiotics that help with digestion (add vanilla extract or fresh fruit to make it naturally sweet).


Photo credit: (L – Tesco) Nestle Strawberry Greek Style Yogurt, RM4.19 | (R) Pixgood.com

2. Jarred pasta sauce vs. homemade sauce
Many jarred pasta sauces have sugar listed as an ingredient and are high in sodium. Try our healthier and cheaper version, the GST-free pasta sauce!


Photo credit: (L – Presto) Prego Italian Sauce Traditional, RM8.13 | (R) JewelPie’s GST-Free Pasta Sauce

3. Canned soup vs. homemade soup
Though convenient, canned soups are high in sodium and BPA chemical. Try our carrot and coriander soup!

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Photo credit: (L – Tesco) Campbell’s Chicken Cream Soup, RM4.15 | (R) JewelPie Carrot and Cocarrot and coriander soupriander Soup

4. Bacon vs. turkey bacon
Bacon is high in nitrate, fat and salt while the turkey bacon is low in fat and calories. However, it’s still best to eat unprocessed poultry or meat.


Photo credit: (L) Newsfeed.time.com | (R – Tesco) Gourmessa Turkey, RM7.40

5. Pre-packed sausages vs. homemade sausage
Sausages are high in fat, salt, nitrates and nitrites (preservatives). Make your own using minced meat and add in natural ingredients for seasoning.


Photo credit: (L – Presto) Ramly Chicken Frankfurter, RM7.10 | (R) Grilling24x7.com

6. Fries vs. baked sweet potatoes
Fries are normally high in fat and calories while baked sweet potatoes are lower in fat and sodium and contains vitamin A and potassium.


Photo credit: (L – Tesco) Ayamas Amy French Fries, RM7.45 | (R) Foodnetwork.com

7. Pizza vs. homemade pizza
Pizzas are high in calories, saturated fat and salt. Make your own homemade pizza by adding more veggies as a healthier version.


Photo credit: (L – Presto) Ristorante Pizza Funghi, RM15.79 | (R) Sunset.com

8. White bread vs. whole grain bread
White bread is bad due to its refined grains, high glycemic index and is low in fibre. Choose whole grain bread instead of white bread to get more vitamins, minerals and fibre.

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Photo credit: (L-R Tesco) Gardenia Original Classic, RM2.40 | (R) Gardenia Wholegrain with Sunflower Seed, RM3.20

9. White rice vs. brown rice
This one is 50/50: though white rice isn’t really as bad, in terms of dietary fibre, brown rice has seven times as much as white rice and contains more magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.

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Photo credit: (L-R Tesco) Faiza Emas Thai White Rice, RM31.80 | (R) EcoBrown Original Unpolished Brown Rice, RM12.99

10. Pastry vs. homemade pastry with coconut oil
Store-bought pastries contain hydrogenated oils and saturated type fats, so make your own using coconut oil, nut butter and beans.


Photo credit: (L – Presto) Kawan Puff Pastry Square, RM5.83 | (R) Lisasdinnertimedish.com

11. White flour vs. whole wheat flour
White flour is high in glycemic index and could be bad for those with gluten allergies, while whole wheat flour increases the fibre and nutrient value of a dish.


Photo credit: (L-R Presto) Sauh White Flour, RM2.85 | Stone-Buhr Whole Wheat Flour, RM24.27

12. Sugar vs. honey
Sugar contains no essential nutrients. While honey is sweeter and packed with vitamins, it also has antimicrobial properties.


Photo Credit: (L-R Tesco) Prai Coarse Grain Sugar, RM5.68 | Capilano Honey, RM14.79

13. Salt vs. sea salt
Salt is high in sodium which is bad for those with elevated blood pressure, so look for sea salt instead as it naturally helps you to build up a strong immune system to fight off the cold virus, the fever and flu, allergies and other autoimmune disorders.

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Photo Credit: (L-R Presto) D/Swallows Salt, RM1.00 | Olssons Sea Salt Flakes Boxes, RM22.90

14. Burger vs. homemade patties

Burgers contain ammonia, fat, calories and additives. Make your own patties using mince meat. Opt for lean turkey meat over beef as it has half the saturated fat of beef.


Photo credit: (L – Tesco) Darabif Beef Burger, RM8.45 | (R) Wetravelandeat.com

15. Ice cream vs. homemade ice cream
Ice creams are high in fat. Opt for dairy-free and healthy ones instead by making your own. Try our homemade banana ice-cream!


Photo credit: (L – Presto) Bulla Creamy Classics, RM31.69 | (R) JewelPie’s Homemade Banana Ice Cream

16. Nuggets vs. homemade nuggets
Processed nuggets contain fat and yucky ingredients such as bone, nerve, connective tissue, and epithelium. Make your own nuggets using lean chicken breast.


Photo credit: (L – Tesco) Ayamas Crispy Tempura Nugget, RM10.99 | (R) Fabkids.com

17. Biscuit vs. wholegrain toast with spread and fruit
Biscuits are high in sugar, calories and hydrogenated fats. Substitute it with wholegrain toast with spread and fruit as they’re lower in saturated fat, higher in fibre and has more vitamins. Try our banana cinnamon toast!


Photo credit: (L – Presto) Tiger Marie Biscuits, RM4.45 | (R) JewelPie’s Banana Cinnamon Toast

18. Chips vs. homemade chips
Chips are high in BHT, trans fats, empty calories and salt. Opt for homemade chips as they contain more fibre, iron and potassium. Try our spicy tapioca chips!


Photo credit: (L – Tesco) Jack ‘n Jill Potato Chips, RM4.99 | (R) JewelPie’s Spicy Tapioca Chips

19. Milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate
Milk chocolates contain high fat and added sugar, while dark chocolate is a source of flavonols and antioxidants for disease prevention and heart health.


Photo credit: (L-R Presto) Dove Milk Chocolate, RM3.18 | Dove Dark Chocolate, RM3.18

20. Carbonated drinks vs. homemade fruity drinks
Carbonated drinks contain carbon dioxide gas. Switch to homemade fruity drinks for lower calories. Try our passionfruit and plum drink!


 Photo credit: (L – Tesco) Coca-Cola, RM1.59 | (R) JewelPie’s Passionfruit and Plum Drink


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