For example, an indistinguishable ingredient could simply be the technical term for a vitamin or mineral, otherwise known as the good material your body needs to function optimally. “Food is essentially made up of chemicals and most ingredients, even natural ones, have a scientific name, which often tends to be multi-syllable and difficult to pronounce,” says Yeung.
Take some of the essential amino acids, ie “the building blocks of protein”, such as methionine, phenylalanine, threonine and isoleucine. “These are difficult to pronounce and may sound scary because they are unknown,” adds Yeung. ».
@elainaefird Just because words are hard to pronounce, does not mean they are “bad” #foryou #learnontiktok #health #healthyliving #food ή original sound – Elaina Efird RD, CEDRD, CSSD
In particular, vitamins are difficult to pronounce, according to Yeung. “Some examples are ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cyanocobalamin (B12), both very important for our body,” he says. “Docosahexanoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and is vital for the development of the brain and nervous system in infants and children.”
Because “processed” is not a bad word
Part of the reason seeing words that you can not pronounce or recognize can make people think twice before adding them to their shopping cart is because they assume it indicates that the food in question is over-processed. But Yeung points out that almost all the food we eat is processed to some degree. Sometimes pre-processing a food adds value — just think how much more expensive a bag of pre-grated Brussels sprouts is compared to a vegetable stalk that requires you to wash, cut, peel, peel and slice at home. . These sliced brussels sprouts are processed, FYI.
The term “processed” clearly bears a stigma. leads our brain to automatically assume that many artificial ingredients, chemicals and preservatives are involved. But it is important that this definition does not apply to many processed foods – and even when it does, it does not make a food “bad”. Basically every time we do anything with the food, such as cooking, baking, freezing, pre-washing or pre-washing, it becomes “processed”. “Packaged spinach is technically processed, but we consider it a ‘healthy’ food.” Yeung says. “Frozen vegetables are technically processed.” The same goes for nut butters (which are ground nuts), yogurt (made from fermented and cultured dairy products), a sliced loaf of bread (you see the picture) and so on.
According Yeung, even if the food in question contains an unnatural ingredient, it is likely to exist for a good reason. “If you are worried about supplements, which often have big names, you may want to research them to see if you feel comfortable eating them. “This is because they serve a purpose, usually to help preserve a food.” Yeung says.
Of course, not all processed foods are going to be nutritious or even good for you. One ingredient Yeung would strongly warn against is hydrogenated oil. “They are essentially trans fats and are known to increase the risk of heart disease,” he says. “The FDA technically banned trans fats in 2018, however, some foods still contain trans fats, even if the food label states that they do not contain or were produced before 2018. The easiest way to find out if a product has trans fat is to look for the phrase “partially hydrogenated oil” in the list of ingredients “.
In general, looking for any ingredients that you can not easily identify is something that Yeung suggests everyone start doing. “The best way to find out if a word you do not know is healthy or not is to look for it,” he says. “You will probably be able to see quickly if it is a nutrient you want to consume. “Over time, you will begin to learn more about the scientific names of the ingredients.”
TL; DR: At the end of the day, knowledge is power.
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