Not all processed foods are unhealthy

Don't be misled by well-intentioned advice. Some processed foods offer nutritional value and convenience.

Nutrition gurus often urge us to spurn processed foods in favor of whole ones. But not all processed foods are necessarily bad. "Most food needs to go through some sort of processing for it to even be edible and digestible," says Stacey Nelson, a registered dietitian and manager of clinical nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. "The minute you cook something, you are processing it."

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »