Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Reasons to never eat processed foods again

Processed foods are like putting bad gas in your car! Most consumers do not realize that "live food" (unprocessed) has important vitamins and enzymes that are destroyed in their processing. But once you understand a little bit more about how these and other processed foods affect your mind, body, and even your soul, it becomes easier to make healthier food choices that enrich your being rather than sap it.

All the tools our bodies need to function optimally and efficiently (read: produce and utilize energy) can be found in foods. We need food to live, to maintain the structure and function of our cells, and to support and fuel the systems that keep us going strong -- immune, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and so on. But some foods can have little to none of the nutrients we need, so when we eat nutrient-poor foods, we ask the body to work with fewer resources. When we provide nutrient-poor food and chemicals, then we ask the body to not only do its daily work with fewer resources, but we also ask it to combat additional challenges.
Processed foods usually contain too much of 3 things and too little of 1 thing.

Sodium, added sugars and/or fat may be added during processing. Always read the Nutrition Facts Label and Ingredient List when buying processed food items. You may be surprised when you see the amount of sodium and sugar found in some jarred pastas! Reading food labels at the grocery store can guide you to make the best choices.

When food is processed, nutrients may be lost including fiber. Some products may be fortified or enriched to compensate for the lost nutrients. Fiber isn’t always added back to foods that lost it during processing.

Choose foods closest to its natural form, rather than heavily processed, so you consume the healthy nutrients -- like vitamins, minerals, and fiber -- naturally present in those foods. For example, if buying frozen vegetables choose ones without sauce since frozen vegetables in a “sauce” may have unwanted sodium and fat added. You can then prepare the frozen vegetables at home with a controlled amount of desired seasoning and healthy unsaturated fats.

Processed food including fast food, packaged and frozen meals are one of the key reasons for obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart and stroke epidemic. But we can’t often resist because they’re tasty, inexpensive and convenient. So what’s so bad about processed foods?
  • Most contain excess sodium, fat, trans fats, calories and sugar.
  • They’re often nutrient deficient and have toxic ingredients.
  • The additives that enhance flavor and extend shelf life actually alters your taste buds so you develop an addiction to fat, sugar and salt.
  • There may be hidden ingredients that are not labeled, especially when coming from other countries where labeling is not required.
  • Processed foods are often over packaged which put strains on our environment.
  • Processed foods increase childhood obesity, decreasing their life span as well as increasing our health care budgets.
Examples of processed foods:
  • Processed nuts are high in sodium and often contain MSG.
  • Fat free ice cream needs thickening agents which gives a processed texture and flavor and often is not less calories since more sugar is added to enhance flavor.
  • Diet supermarket foods contain excess salt for flavor.
  • Processed chicken in fast food and frozen products is often cooked in a high sodium marinade and often injected with a sodium solution to keep the meat moist.
  • Boxed grains with flavored packages such as rice or couscous have excess sodium.
  • Fat free cottage cheese contains excess salt to obtain the curds and whey consistency.
White empty carbs, fried foods, processed cheese, sugar beverages and desserts are all loaded with calories, sugar and fats.

 Here are nine motivating reasons why you should cut processed foods from your diet for good:

1) Processed foods are highly addictive. Your body processes whole foods much differently than it does refined, processed, and heavily-modified "junk" foods. Processed foods tend to overstimulate the production of dopamine, also known as the "pleasure" neurotransmitter, which makes you crave them constantly. Your body ends up not being able to resist the temptation to continue eating junk foods in excess, which can lead to obesity and other health problems.

2) Processed foods often contain phosphates that destroy your organs, bones. Many processed foods contain phosphate additives that augment taste, texture, and shelf-life. But these additives are known to cause health problems like rapid aging, kidney deterioration and weak bones, according to the Rodale Institute, which makes foods that contain them far less attractive to those in the know.

3) Fresh foods are actually cheaper than processed foods. People with junk food addictions often claim that fresh, healthy foods are too expensive. But according to numerous studies and assessments, whole foods made from scratch end up costing less per serving than their unhealthy, processed equivalents. According to Rodale, a single serving of 100 percent organic chili made with fresh ingredients and grass-fed beef, for instance, is about 50 cents cheaper to make than buying a can of chemical-laden, microwaveable chili from the grocery store.

4) Processed foods cause chronic inflammation. One of the leading causes of chronic illness today is inflammation. And studies continue to show that refined sugars, processed flours, vegetable oils, and many other nasty ingredients commonly found in processed foods are largely responsible for this inflammation epidemic. So the next time your body craves a candy bar or a box of cheese crackers, consider the fact that heart disease, dementia, neurological problems, respiratory failure, and cancer have all been linked to the chronic inflammation caused by processed food consumption.

5) Processed foods ruin digestion. Because they have been stripped of their natural fibers, enzymes, vitamins, and other nutrients, processed foods tend to wreak havoc on the digestive tract. Chronic consumption of such foods can throw your internal ecosystem off balance, harming beneficial bacteria and exposing your system to infection. So you can basically think of those gummy bears and that piece of cake as literal poison for your system, which may help deter you from eating them.

6) Processed foods destroy your mind. If you suffer from chronic bouts of brain "fog," or have difficulty concentrating and thinking normally, chances are your diet has something to do with it. And a recent study out of Oxford University lends credence to this possibility, having found that junk food consumption can cause people to become angry and irritable. Nutrient-dense whole foods, on the other hand, can help level out your mood, sustain your energy levels, and leave you feeling calmer and more collected.

7) Processed foods are loaded with GMOs. The basic buildings blocks of most processed foods on the market today are derived from laboratories, not nature. Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), which have been linked to infertility, organ damage, gastrointestinal disorders, and cancer, are prolific in processed foods. Excess consumption of these poisons promotes weight gain, acidifies your blood, and can even permanently alter the composition and function of your intestinal flora.

8) Processed foods are loaded with pesticides. In order to effectively grow the GMOs used in processed foods, conventional farmers have to apply Roundup (glyphosate) and other pesticides and herbicides, many of which end up in the final product. According to data compiled by Rodale, breakfast cereals alone have been found to contain up to 70 different types of pesticides, including warehouse fumigation chemicals and other residues.

9) Processed foods are not actually food. One of the ways you can assess the nutritional value of food is to see how animals, insects, bacteria, and fungi respond to it. Real foods will actually rot or grow mold, for instance, while fake, processed foods remain largely the same in appearance and shape no matter what their age. As we reported recently, processed food is essentially synthetic, and the industry that produces it admits that heavy tampering and crafty modifications are necessary to make it taste real, even though it is not.

The purpose of food is to nourish you. With today's food supply, what we eat can either take us in the direction of health or away from it. Processed foods are amateurs and imposters compared to the real thing: food straight from nature.

1 comment:

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