These days, our lifestyle is busier than ever. We run around from work to our children to grocery shopping all day long and walk on the front door ready to go straight to bed.
In between all of this chaos, we eat whatever comes in handy.
Luckily now, more than ever, technology allows us to get all the information we need in order to have a healthy mind and body on the long term. But let’s face it: how often do we really follow those pieces of advice? And even more importantly, how much do we follow what not to eat?
It’s already a known fact that processed foods are a huge killer for anybody’s physical health. Let’s have a look at what processed foods really are and how they affect your well being.
What is processed food?
We all know it’s good and it surely comes in handy after a long, tiring day, but it’s far from being healthy. Processed foods are ailments that were chemically changed in such way that they last longer than natural ones – but they still look like them.
In fact, finding foods that haven’t been processed at all is a real challenge right now – unless you grow and cook them by yourself. Overall, the main problem is that foods made from natural, healthy ingredients, are now filled with artificial ingredients which could never be absorbed by our bodies correctly.
What do processed foods contain?
Statistically speaking, sugar is the no. #1 ingredient overly-used in processed foods. This comes in different forms like fructose or syrup, but the outcome is the same.
Many studies over the past few years linked sugar to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular illnesses and liver problems. Plus, sugar itself doesn’t contain any nutrients necessary for your health; it’s nothing but a bunch of calories that, consumed in high quantities, can only harm our bodies.
Remember: we’re not talking here about the sugar found in naturally grown fruits, the sugar we add to our daily coffee or home-made desserts. It’s the hidden sugar that damages our health.
Some of the most significant foods that contain dangerous amounts of sugar are:
- White bread
- Breakfast cereals
- Commercial canned foods
- Salad dressings
- Soda (even diet ones!)
And the list can go on. Just think about ingesting 10 spoons of pure sugar in a matter of hours – trust me, you wouldn’t handle it. Yet, we all do that in a hidden form that tricks our bodies.. only on the short term.
Whether carbs are good or bad for the human body has been put to question for years now. On one hand, they offer us energy and are good, but the refined versions we often find in processed foods isn’t going to help us that much.
Carbohydrate is an ingredient naturally found in a plant with the same name. Refined carbs are produced by eliminating the plant (aka what really is healthy) and chemically modifying it to be easily digestible.
In other words, it’s much easier for our bodies to absorb the sugars found in foods with carbohydrates, thus increasing the amount of sugar in your blood to dangerous levels.
As your blood sugar level rises, your body tries to keep up by producing more and more insulin… and insulin deficiency is a sure step towards diabetes.
This is where things go terribly wrong when it comes to our diets. No matter how much you check the food labels and choose the freshest ailments out there, you just can’t escape chemicals.
For one, it’s pretty hard to know what every ingredient does to your health – and some companies will often find ways to hide those effects from you.
Some of the most commonly used artificial ingredients are:
- Flavorings to enhance the natural taste of foods
- Texturants to create a more pleasurable texture
- Colorants to make foods look more appealing
- Preservatives, which prevent foods from deteriorating
As we check legal food standards, companies have to test every single ingredient it adds to foods to make sure it is safe for you. The problem here is that no company spends years to test a mix of chemicals just to see where it leads – and it would even be somehow strange to do so.
A resume on processed foods
Overall, processed foods are a long-term way of destroying the natural functionality of our system.
The main goal of companies that use processed foods is to make each item look, feel and taste better and better to trick you into buying it. Most of these foods are low in vitamins, nutrients or fiber and instead they contain large amounts of artificial ingredients. Ultimately, all of these dangerous chemicals combined lead to weight gain that can hardly be lost.
Our advice to you is to consume as many whole foods as possible. Also, of course, make sure to avoid sodas, candy and other caloric bombs because those are a sure way of destroying your health. This is your best shot at a healthy lifestyle for you and your loved ones on the long term.