Monday, March 10, 2014

Why Would You Eat Processed Foods That Are Killing You Instead Of REAL Foods?


We toss around the words “processed foods” like everyone knows what they mean. We know that they are not nutritionally sound. But WHY?

I got into an argument about what constitutes “processed foods” and then decided I had no idea what I was talking about. I hate being ignorant!

It turns out you can find many definitions online. The best two I’ve found for understanding the concept are the following:

Processed Foods Definition 1

The definition of processed foods from talks about food ingredients and grocery store location: 
  • You can determine whether a food is processed by looking at the ingredient list. The longer the ingredient list, the more processed a food is likely to be. 
  • Processed foods are usually found in the center aisles of the grocery store and are more likely to contain ingredients that you are not able to recognize or ingredients that you wouldn't have in your kitchen. 
  • Avoid foods that you wouldn't be able to produce or make yourself at home. Stick to unprocessed, natural foods, mostly found on the periphery of the grocery store, such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and other single-ingredient foods.
Processed Foods Definition 2

The second definition is real simple - “foods that have been chemically processed and made solely from refined ingredients and artificial substances, are what is generally known as “processed food.” This is from lists the 9 Ways That Processed Foods Are Slowly Killing People (or why you should be eating real food).
  1. Processed foods and beverages are the biggest sources of added sugar (and High Fructose Corn Syrup) in the diet. Sugar is very unhealthy and can have serious adverse effects on metabolism when consumed in excess.
  2. Food manufacturers spend massive amounts of resources making processed  foods as “rewarding” as possible to the brain, which leads to overconsumption.
  3. Most highly processed foods are loaded with artificial chemicals, including flavorants, texturants, colorants and preservatives.
  4. For many people, processed junk foods hijack brain biochemistry leading to addiction and cause them to lose control over their consumption.
  5. The carbohydrates you find in processed foods are usually refined, “simple” carbohydrates. These lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels and cause negative health effects.
  6. There are many nutrients found in whole foods that are NOT found in processed foods. The more processed foods you eat, the less you will get of these nutrients.
  7. We only burn half as many calories digesting and metabolizing processed foods compared to whole foods. (We want our bodies using MORE energy and burning more calories.)
  8. Soluble, fermentable fiber has various important health benefits, but most processed foods are very low in fiber because it is lost or intentionally removed during processing.
  9. Processed foods are often high in trans fats or processed vegetable oils (the so-called bad fats).
Now I can win that “discussion” about processed foods. They’re fake foods.

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