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The List Of Processed Foods: From Processed Meat To Oils, Fats & Salts

The List Of Processed Foods: From Processed Meat To Oils, Fats & Salts

Processed food is any food that has been mechanically or chemically altered or modified in some way during preparation, in order to change, preserve, or improve its taste. In other words, processed foods are those that typically come in a box or bag and contain two or more ingredients.

Nowadays, a large amount of food these days is processed, from the milk you drink during breakfast to cakes and microwave meals. Therefore, it’s impossible to avoid all processed foods. Some of them are actually very healthy, like Greek yogurt, frozen vegetables, pre-cooked whole grains, nut butter, tofu, organic stock, and unsalted canned beans.

Food processing may include:

– the addition of additives
– pasteurization
– freezing
– canning
– baking
– drying

Therefore, processed foods include foods that have been canned, cooked, frozen, packaged or changed in nutritional composition with preserving, fortifying, or preparing in different ways. So, whenever we cook, bake or prepare food, we are actually processing food.

When talking about how healthy or unhealthy processed foods are for us, there is a lot of debate. However, the general consensus is that less processed food is better.

On the other hand, processed food provides you with more nutrients; breakfast cereals may be rich in fibers, and milk and juices sometimes are fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

To know the whole list of processed foods, scroll down below:

Credit Rachel Park (unsplash Freeuse)

The List Of Processed Foods

Processed Meat

Processed meat is called so due to its modification in order either to improve its taste or to extend its shelf life. Methods of meat processing include salting, curing, fermentation, and smoking.

Check out below types of processed meats:

  • Canned Meats (SPAM, Most Tuna Fish, etc)
  • Cured Meats (Lunch meats)
  • Ham
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Some Frozen Meats
  • Gelatin
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Most Pre-Cooked Meats
  • Cured Meats
  • Bologna

Processed Fruits & Vegetables

Even fruits and vegetables can and are being processed these days.

Let’s see below some examples of processed fruits & vegetables:

  • Canned Fruits
  • Dried Fruits
  • Dried Vegetables
  • Fruit Juice
  • Ketchup
  • Potato Chips
  • Vegetable Juice
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Pie Fillings
  • Frozen Fruits
  • Frozen Vegetables
  • French Fries
  • Jams & Jellies
  • Tomato Soup
  • Tomato Pasta Sauce
  • Corn Chips
List of processed foods
Photo credit: Whitney Wright on Unsplash

Processed Baked Goods

Despite you may sometimes find freshly baked goods at the supermarket, baked goods are almost always processed.

Processed baked goods include:

  • Bread
  • Flour
  • White Rice
  • Rolls
  • Bagels
  • Buns
  • Bread Sticks
  • Pizza Crusts
  • Pasta
  • Macaroni
  • Pie Crusts
  • Cookies
  • Cake (and Cake Mixes)
  • Doughnuts
  • Pastries
  • Pop Tarts (and similar foods)
  • Taco Shells
  • Muffins

Fast Food

Fast food is the only category people are fully aware that the food is processed. Despite this, fast food is very popular.

In this category, food, as follows, are included:

  • Microwave Pizza
  • Pizza Rolls
  • Frozen Dinners
  • Microwave Burritos
  • Microwave Tacos
  • Jalapeno Poppers
  • Raman Noodles
  • Roasted & Salted Nuts
  • Granola Bars (and bagged granola)

Dairy Foods

Dairy food, on the other hand, is a category in which many people are not aware of processed food. There are, however, some foods in this category which are part of a healthy diet. Nevertheless, as we mentioned above, the less the food is processed, the better.

Processed dairy foods include:

  • Milk (In some areas you can get raw milk, which is not processed)
  • Yogurt
  • Cream Cheese
  • Cheeses
  • Cheese Foods
  • Kiefer

Snack Foods

Snack foods are typically heavily processed, therefore minimizing their consumption would be a convenient practice for everyone.

Let’s see the list of snack foods:

  • Chocolate
  • White Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Sugar Substituted
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Rice Syrup
  • Corn Syrup
  • Marshmallows
  • Whipped Cream
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Honey (You can buy raw honey, which is not processed)
  • Pudding
  • Hard Candy
  • Soft Candies
  • Ice Cream
  • Maple Syrup
  • Caramel

Processed Beverages

Beverages, other than water, are most of the time processed. But, if you want to drink an unprocessed beverage, you can juice your own fruit at home.

Processed beverages are as follows:

  • All Soda
  • Apple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Grape Juice
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Juice Flavored Drinks
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Instant Breakfasts
  • Flavored Waters
  • Tea (You can buy unprocessed tea)
  • Coffee (you can buy raw coffee)

Oils, Fats, Salts & More

Same as beverages, oils, fats, and other products are typically going to be processed.

  • Margarine
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Peanut Butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Most Seed Oils
  • Refined Oils
  • Soy Sauce
  • Cooking Spray
  • Salad Dressings
  • Cashew Butter



Disclaimer:  The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please, ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider or cosmetologist with all the questions you may have about any medical condition or beauty regimen.


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