You already know that a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains is healthy for you. But do you know exactly why you should be cutting processed foods out of your life? Let’s take a look at the top 7 reasons for steering clear of processed foods.
1: Important nutrients are processed out.
Many processed foods are created to last longer on the shelf, and taste better than when they existed in their natural state. This often times involves removing wonderful phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, either intentionally or indirectly.
By its very definition, processing foods leads to a non-natural state. So many of the healthy components that nature packs into its foods are lacking when that food is processed.
2: Some processed foods include monosodium glutamate.
MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a form of salt which has been chemically changed to enhance the flavor of many popular processed foods. It has been directly linked to weight gain and obesity, and negatively affects how full you feel when you are eating. This can lead to binge eating, since your brain never knows when you are full.
Liver inflammation, kidney failure and even brain damage are possible byproducts of heavy exposure to MSG. Unfortunately, it is the world’s most popular flavor enhancer. And it can be listed under any of the following names – acid hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed corn, MSG, plant protein extract and yeast extract, among others.
3: The “sweet” of high fructose corn syrup may not be so sweet afterall.
Why is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) so dangerous to your health? Because it contributes to:
- liver deterioration
- plaque build up in your blood vessels
- has been shown to cause diabetes
- it accelerates the natural aging process in your body
- can contain unhealthy mercury poisons.
And it is used in more and more processed food products all the time.
4: Low-fat often means high in sugar.
Many processed and manufactured foods boast about being low-fat or no-fat in nature.
The process which pulls fat out of those foods also involves adding HFCS, sucrose, lactose and glucose, as well as other yummy tasting but unhealthy sweeteners.
Sugar triggers the “feel good” transmitters in your brain, and this can cause an addiction to sweet tasting processed foods.
Sugar can have a devastating effect on your health, and is believed by many doctors and nutritionists to be the leading cause of chronic disease and obesity in today’s modern society.
5: Processed Foods are hard on your digestive system.
When you consume processed foods that contain cheap, flavor enhancing and unhealthy chemicals, your body identifies these as poisons and toxins, and works very hard to rid your system of them.
But they are much harder to digest than the foods which nature intended men and women to eat. This makes your digestive tract work harder than it has to, and this can lead to a long list of gastrointestinal problems and health issues.
6: Whole foods are less expensive than their processed counterparts.
Junk food addicts often claim that eating healthy foods is just too expensive. But several studies like one published by the Rodale Institute show that the opposite is actually true.
For instance, they show that one serving of 100% organic chili (made with fresh ingredients) costs roughly $0.50 less than a can of microwavable chili like you would purchase at the grocery store.
7: You will begin to feel healthier almost immediately.
Processed foods contain a lot of junk your body does not need. This can include phosphates which actually weaken your bones and organs.
The excess sugar in processed foods can lead to weight gain and heart problems, and many manufactured foods can can lead to chronic inflammation, dementia, respiratory failure and multiple neurologic problems.
When you eat clean and avoid processed food, you can feel the difference almost immediately and start to become healthier.