Wean Yourself Off Processed Foods in 7 Steps

A new book, Real Food Has Curves, has a plan to get you to enjoy food more and maybe lose weight.

Video: Cholesterol: The Good and the Bad
By + More

Step 6: Go for high-quality foods. You don't need to opt for only organic or produce sold at local farmstands—though both are certainly preferable—but you should look for products that contain the least amount of processed ingredients to ensure better taste and better quality. You can't, for example, experience the nutty chewiness of the whole grain if you go for white rice instead of brown. Look for breads and pastas with whole wheat or whole wheat flour as the first ingredient to enhance their taste and nutritional content. And, of course, choose fresh produce, when possible, over canned. Frozen fruits and vegetables are preferable when fresh ones aren't available.

Step 7: Treat yourself well by not skipping meals. Part of the enjoyment of food is allowing yourself to get hungry enough to crave your meal, but not so hungry that you're desperate to shovel anything and everything in your mouth. This can be accomplished by eating three meals a day at fairly regular times and having a mid-afternoon snack. Some of the interesting snack choices include apple wedges with natural peanut butter or honey mustard; a few dried apricots and a handful of salted pistachios; 1 ounce of feta on all-grain crackers like FinnCrisps. And the authors, being food lovers, advocate for a daily dessert, something truly indulgent that you save for once, rather than several times, a day. "Otherwise," they write, "there's a hideous taste-deadening that goes on with too much sugar."

[10 Healthful Snacks That Won't Break the Calorie Bank]