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Why do processed foods have less nutritional value than whole foods?

Brian Tanzer
Nutrition & Dietetics

During certain types of processing many of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and cofactors are chemically modified to the point where they lose their biological activity. This being the case, processed foods offer little health benefits, and in many cases, can actually have negative health effects. Whole foods are not processed, or minimally processed. This allows for the food to retain its naturally-occurring nutrients and inherent biological activity.

Daphne Oz
Health Education
Our bodies don't have the ability to make all the nutrients essential to daily function, so we need to get these crucial nutrients from outside sources. Problem is, with all the processing, microwaving, freezing-and-reheating, freeze-drying, and other crazy things we do to so-called food these days, we aren't getting nearly enough whole foods into our systems. For instance, the flour used to bake white bread is ground from grain that has been stripped of the wheat germ as well as the fibrous shell, thereby depleting its natural fiber and some nutrient content. And every time you perform a cooking process -- such as pulling meat apart, grinding it up, squashing it back together in the shape of a kidney, and deep-frying it, as we do with chicken nuggets -- you diminish the nutritional value of the food.
The Dorm Room Diet: The 10-Step Program for Creating a Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Really Works

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The Dorm Room Diet: The 10-Step Program for Creating a Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Really Works

The 10-Step Program for Creating a Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Really WorksThe Dorm Room DietRevised and Updated EditionFiguring out how to eat right and stay healthy on your own can be hard! Here is...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.