Processed food has a bad reputation as a diet saboteur. It's blamed for our nation's obesity epidemic, high blood pressure and the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes. But processed food is more than boxed macaroni and cheese, potato chips and drive-thru hamburgers. It may be a surprise to learn that whole-wheat bread, homemade soup or a chopped apple are also processed foods.
While some processed foods should be consumed with caution, many actually have a place in a balanced diet. Here's how to sort the nutritious from the not-so-nutritious.