What is processed food? The term applies to any kind of food that has been altered from its natural state, for different reasons. A great deal of foods that you can buy in supermarkets are processed, and you are probably eating more of it than you know. Not all of it is unhealthy, but if it’s processed, it may contain sugar, salt and trans-fats. Food gets processed with techniques such as canning, freezing, dying, baking, and pasteurizing.