Processed food is food that has been transformed by freezing, baking, or drying. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines processed food as any raw agricultural product that has been cleaned, washed, milled, chopped, cut, heated, blanched, pasteurised, cooked, frozen, canned, dried, mixed, packaged, dehydrated, or other procedures that alter the food from its natural state. Additional additives such as flavours, nutrients, and preservatives may be included in this procedure.
Many people have begun to equate the term "heavily processed foods" with ill health, although this is simply not true. The truth is that many processed foods contain high-nutritional elements including potassium, vitamins A, C, E, and B-complex vitamins, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. Some of these critical nutrients may be lacking in processed meats and other highly processed foods. In September 2021, the Adult Obesity Prevalence Map of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the obesity rate in the U.S. has reached 35% as a result of increased accessibility to ultra-Processed Food .