Over the last few decades, our style of eating has experienced unprecedented change. What we are now consuming comes from foods that are highly processed — heavily loaded up with sugar, salt, fat, strange chemical additives, and lots of refined grains that are totally bereft of any naturally occurring antioxidants and nutrients. The consequence is great harm to our health.
Here are several ways in which processed foods are not healthy:
Usually Very High in Sugars or Fructose Corn Syrup
Sugar has been shown by many studies to have devastating impacts on our metabolism that go far beyond the calorie content. Processed foods that are high in sugar are known to lead to insulin resistance, high levels of triglycerides, elevated levels of the dangerous cholesterol and higher fat accumulation in the abdominal cavity and liver.
It comes as no surprise therefore that consumption of sugar is strongly linked with some of the leading killers in the world, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. As a matter of fact, we are not necessarily putting massive quantities of sugar in our coffee or with our cereals; we are getting it from the sugar-sweetened beverages and processed foods.
Artificial chemical ingredients
If you just take a look at the label of ingredients in a packaged and processed food, odds are high that you won’t even have any clue to what most of those ingredients are. This because most of them aren’t even food, but artificial chemicals whose impact on your health remains clouded in mystery. We are taking in stuff we don’t even know!
High refined carbohydrates
Carbohydrates taken from whole foods are certainly much better for our health compared to refined carbohydrates. Majority of processed foods are very usually high in refined carbs. A major problem associated with such refined carbohydrates is that because they quickly get broken down in our digestive tract, they lead to sudden spikes in insulin and blood sugar levels.
This has the potential of leading to acute cravings for carb just several hours later once the blood sugar levels come down again. This exposes you to negative health effects and numerous chronic diseases. If we must eat carbs, then we should obtain them from whole foods and not from processed junk foods, and in the right quantities.
Low in nutrients and fibres
Processed foods typically contain extremely low levels of essential nutrients when compared to unprocessed whole foods. Sometimes, processors will add synthetic minerals to these processed foods in efforts to compensate for the nutrients lost during processing. The fact is that synthetic nutrients can never be a good replacement for the natural nutrients that your body gets from whole foods.
The majority of processed foods are extremely low in fibre as it has been lost or intentionally cut down during the processing, and we know we need fibres in our bodies.
High in Trans Fats
Today’s processed foods are in many cases high in unhealthy fats that are frequently hydrogenated, turning them into harmful trans-fats. These Omega 6 type of fatty fats are causes of heart conditions, oxidation and body inflammation.
When we consume processed junk food in place of healthy traditional foods, we just become fat and sick. The key to our good health lies in eating real food and not excessive processed foods. Full stop!