Diet & Nutrition

The Definitive List Of Healthy Processed Foods And Bad Ultra-Processed Foods

What are processed and ultra-processed foods?

The processed foods are those that have been transformed from their initial state. For example, olive oil or pasteurized milk. Many are considered healthy and can be safely included in our diet.

The ultra process ados foods are those that do not look anything like their original form. They are typically loaded with added sugars, salt, fats, and additives. Example: cookies or sausage. They are foods that are not healthy and should be eaten as little as possible. Here we provide you with the complete list of healthy processed foods and unhealthy ultra-processed foods.

And the unprocessed ones?

They are the foods that we consume practically the same as “born from the earth”, and that should be the protagonists of our diet: vegetables, fruits, legumes, fish and meat.

If food is processed, is it wrong?

Not always, think, for example, of whole wheat bread. Or on a tray of cut vegetables. At the end of the article, you will find the running list, in case it is easier for you to read it so in photos. Here we go.

1. Bread

– Healthy processed: 100% whole grain or whole grain.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: white bread or refined mould.

– Processed that should not be abused: Semi-integral bread.

2. Cakeshop

– Healthy processed foods: It hurts our soul, but there is no healthy pastry.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: All, especially industrial pastry and bakery.

– Processes that should not be abused: Homemade recipes.


– Healthy processed: Legume flour (chickpea) or dried fruit (chestnut, almond).

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: refined flour.

Processes should not be abused: Spelled, quinoa, whole wheat, whole rye, cornstarch.

3. Sugars

– Healthy processed: They do not exist.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: All sweeteners (honey, various sugars, panela …). Yes, friend, neither love nor brown sugar is healthy.

– Processes that should not be abused: Raw honey.

4. Breakfast portions of cereal

– Healthy processed: Oats, Kamut.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: Refined and sugary cereals.

– Processes that should not be abused: Muesli, whole grains without sugar.

5. Pasta

– Healthy processed: Whole wheat or legumes.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: refined pasta, prepared pasta dishes.

– Processes that should not be abused: Fresh pasta.

6. Legumes

– Healthy processed: In the pot, dried or frozen.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: all legumes are healthy.

– Processes that should not be abused: Dishes prepared with legumes, legume patés (hummus).

7. Vegetables

– Healthy processed: Packaged, cut or frozen vegetables.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: In principle, there is not.

– Processes that should not be abused: Dishes prepared with vegetables such as packaged creams or pickles.

8. Fruits

– Healthy processed: Packaged, cut or frozen fruit.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: Fruit in syrup, candied fruit.

– Processes that should not be abused: Dried fruit, freeze-dried fruit, fruit puree.

9. Mushrooms

– Healthy processed: Packaged, frozen, in a pot or dried.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: In principle, there are no ultra-processed mushrooms for mass consumption.

– Processes that should not be abused: Dishes prepared with mushrooms.

10. Types of meat

– Healthy processed: meat minced by the butcher, frozen meat.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: Super packaged hamburgers, nuggets, for example.

– Processes that should not be abused: Various dishes prepared with meat.

11. Fish and shellfish

– Healthy processed: packaged cut fish, frozen fish.

– Unhealthy ultra-processed: Surimis, battered.

– Processed that should not be abused: Canned or salted.

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