Processed foods have become a major food business from the past few years. We all consume at least one kind of processed food, be it in a small size or a large size. Processed foods are typically those foods which undergo a series of either chemical or mechanical operations before they are made available to eat. These operations are mostly in order to preserve it or change it. Processed foods have gained easy access to our meals. Most people these days look out for ready to cook meals instead of taking time and cooking their own meals. They are nothing but processed meals and cause harm to your body. The processed food industry has produced an alternative to almost every food item, starting from breakfast cereals to snacks and dinner.
We are so much inclined to processed food that we love to indulge in them at any time of the day or at any occasion. We prefer ordering a pizza even for a night out with our pals instead of cooking healthy meals together. Be it a party or a team lunch we always opt for processed food whenever we get a chance. These foods are often filled with artificial sweeteners, colours and preservatives. Though they claim to be made of healthy ingredients, more than half of their nutritional value is ripped out of them while processing. There are a lot of reasons why you should avoid eating processed foods and here I list 5 of the top reasons. Keep reading to find out.
1. They are simply sugars
Sugars are just useless calories, which do not contain any kind of nutrients. Processed foods may be made up of various ingredients but all together they make up 70% of the sugar. It can either be fructose based corn syrup or just sugar. Whatever might be the type, they can show a serious negative effect on your body’s metabolism. With increased sugar content, your body becomes vulnerable to many diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, liver failure and even cancer. It also makes you fat by storing cholesterol in unwanted areas of your body. So now know why it is necessary to ditch those processed foods.
2. They contain a high ratio of trans fat
Many of the recent studies have shown that trans fat is responsible for causing different types of cancer in human beings. Many brands that manufacture processed foods use cheap and processed oils that are rich in trans fat. They commonly use hydrogenated oils like refined seed or vegetable oils in order to increase the shelf life of the product. These are filled with omega 6 fatty acids that can show a drastic effect on your body. Studies have also shown that consuming excess trans fat is linked to an increase in inflammation and oxidation levels in the body. Inflammation can be a reason of many diseases like respiratory problems, dementia and neurological disorders.
3. Some of them contain pesticides
Did you ever read the table on your product where its ingredients are listed ? More than half of the people ignore this information and just buy those packed products for its taste. But if you ever read the ingredients, you may feel like you are attending a chemistry class. People from a non science background will have a hard time understanding what those ingredients actually are. Manufacturers use a lot of chemicals just to increase the expiry date of the product. Some products are even known to have pesticides in them. Farmers use pesticides and herbicides in order to preserve the crop from insects and pests. These chemicals enter into the soil and eventually into the crop in most cases and can be the cause for developmental and functional problems.
4. They are stripped of the fiber content
Fiber plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy body. It aids in digestion and prevents constipation. It keeps you satiated for a longer time and helps in the growth of healthy gut bacteria, besides slowing down the absorption of carbs. Foods with good fiber content are often low in calories as well. During processing the foods chemically or mechanically, they are stripped of their fibre content and remain of no use. They do not curb your hunger and make you eat more than usual. Thereby, we get addicted to processed foods which results in an unhealthy weight gain.
5. They impair your sleep When you consume a lot of processed foods before going to bed, you can end up tossing and turning and not getting into your sleep. This is because of the spikes in your sugar levels. As processed foods are high in refined carbohydrates, your blood sugar can show a sudden spike or crash. Your insulin levels become unstable which makes it hard to fall asleep. Refined sugars and starches are also the cause for many other health issues so it is best to avoid processed foods not only before going to bed, but also in the day.