What are Processed Foods? Processed foods have been altered from their natural state, either for safety reasons or for convenience. The methods used include canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration and aseptic processing.
Why are so unhealthy? In many cases these has been added food additives, preservatives, salt and sugar to preserve them and prevent spoilage. I mean we are also ingesting with these foods large amounts of chemicals, salt and sugar.
The risks of many additives are not known, since they depend on epidemiological studies that take years in many cases. But salt has a direct effect on our blood pressure and fluid retention, and sugar transforms very easily in body fat, and what is worse when climbing the peak level Insulin helps other foods we have eaten together easily become fat.
Another terrible ingredient High Fructose Corn Syrup, used by most fast food companies in the world, makes food and drinks sweet and palatable. Probably the cause of many of many cases of overweight as it is in many, many processed foods, especially in USA.
Another thing to avoid are foods high in fat, remember that there are three types of fat:
- The good: Monounsaturated fat , Polyunsaturated fat. Vegetable oils are typically in Vegetable oils (such as safflower, corn, sunflower, soy and cottonseed oils), nut oils (such as peanut oil), poultry, nuts and seeds.
- Those you must control: Saturated fat. They are where you expect in Cheese, pizza, grain-based desserts, and animal products, such as chicken dishes, sausage, hot dogs, bacon and ribs. Other sources: lard, butter, and coconut, palm and other tropical oils.
- And we should not eat under any circumstances: Trans fat, banned in many countries like USA , UK , … Margarines, snack foods and prepared desserts, such as cookies and cakes. Naturally occurring sources include meat and dairy products.
Processed foods that may be bad for you:
- Canned foods with large amounts of sodium or fat.
- Pasta meals made with refined white flour instead of whole grains.
- Packaged high-calorie snack foods such as chips and candies.
- Frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners that are high in sodium.
- Packaged cakes and cookies.
- Boxed meal mixes that are high in fat and sodium.
- Sugary breakfast cereals.
- Processed meats typically coming from fast food.
Next time you buy food please take a look at the nutrition label in order to see the amount of sugar, salt and saturated fats.
Avoiding this kind of food will dramatically increase your energy:
- Your insulin level will remain stable and you will have less ups and downs;
- The digestion of saturated fat is very difficult for your body and take a lot of your energy.
Remember, the best option is always fresh food.