Food Bethenny Frankel

Think Outside The Box

If it comes in a box, or a package, pause before eating it and determine how badly you really want it. Processed food isn’t as good for you as fresh food, and it usually doesn’t taste as good. It’s probably full of preservatives for a longer shelf life. Canned foods contain aluminum or chemicals from the can lining, and foods packaged in plastic might contain residual chemicals, too, especially if you microwave them in containers.

Not all processed food is bad. Just because it’s in a package doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat it. Some packaged food is very minimally processed, like frozen vegetables and staples like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, dried beans, and quinoa. To determine how processed the packaged food you want to eat is, read the label. If something has an ingredients list that covers the entire back of the box and is full of chemicals, artificial coloring, and things you can’t pronounce, reconsider.

I have a box of butternut squash in my freezer, and the ingredients says: butternut squash. I feel fine about that. Even Fritos, surprisingly, contain just corn, oil, and salt. I’m not saying you should have a whole bag of Fritos, but it you’re going to eat salty chips, there are much worse options. Bottom line: If it came from a factory, make a conscious decision before putting it in your mouth.

This is an excerpt from Skinnygirl Solutions by Bethenny Frankel, available on