If the food comes in a
box or package IT IS A NO NO
With your busy lifestyle, it is often easier to grab a pre-packaged or frozen meal. While you score on
convenience, those pre-packaged and processed foods are not helping you with
achieving overall health. Let’s face it, you may lose weight. But the long-term
impacts of processed foods may not be worth it. So why is processed food bad
It’s not all “real food“.
Processed foods, by definition have been altered or put through a process that prevents them from
spoiling or deteriorating before they can be purchased or consumed. Milk, for
instance, goes through a pasteurization process to kill bacteria. This is not
the type of process that we are referencing. However, foods that are processed
that are unlikely to be healthy include canned foods, snack foods such as
potato chips and cookies, boxed meals or breakfast cereals and processed meats
such as hot dogs or luncheon meat. They also contain bad fats. A diet
consisting of processed foods can not only make you sick, but it can make you
gain weight. According to the World Health Organization, processed foods are
the cause for increased obesity levels and diseases including cancer and heart
It’s loaded with sodium.
Like fat, sodium is necessary for us to live and function at optimal levels.
When we sweat, for example, we lose sodium. Therefore nature has placed
it in the unprocessed foods that we eat such as vegetables, dairy product and
even water so that our bodies maintain the right sodium balance. However,
processed foods usually contain more salt than you need. According to the
Mayo Clinic, “about 11 percent of the sodium in the average U.S. diet comes
from adding salt or other sodium-containing condiments to foods while cooking
or eating. But the majority of the sodium — 77 percent — comes from eating
prepared or processed foods that contain the mineral.” Too much sodium leads
to high blood pressure as it causes more fluid to be retained in the blood vessels.
It contains high fructose corn syrup.
High fructose corn syrup
makes processed foods taste and look good. It can be found in many frozen
foods, yogurt and bread. In his book, “In Defense of Food: An Eaters
Manifesto,” Michael Pollan refers to high fructose corn syrup as a “biological
novelty” indicating that it causes ill health because our bodies are unfamiliar
with this substance. High fructose corn syrup has been linked to increasing
obesity levels, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, there is some belief
that it encourages overeating.
The best plan of attack
for healthy eating and weight loss is to consume as much whole foods as you can
by incorporating fruits, vegetables and lean meats into your diet. It’s not
just about weight loss. It’s about overall health.