Say “NO” to Processed Foods
While taking a tour of the grocery store or supermarket, what catches your eye the most? Is it the flavored fruit juices or cooked spaghetti’s? Or the refrigerators stuffed with different kinds of cured meats such as salami, sausages, or meat loaves?
The processed foods happen to be everywhere and it is not that easy to resist your temptations. However, you must understand that when food is processed, it becomes less healthy and less nutritious. From pre-cooked meals to frozen dinners, salad dressings, bacons, sausages, processed deli red meats, ice creams, and even frozen vegetables are crammed with various additives and preservatives.
According to a survey, Americans eat more of packaged and processed food as compared to fresh food. Although most are aware of the ill effects of consuming these processed food items.
Then why do people eat processed foods? Why are processed foods in such a great demand?
Today everyone is super busy in their packed schedule and don’t have time to cook meals. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous increase in the number of families counting on processed foods, while only few families opt for conventional cooking with fresh food items.
Since, processed foods are easier to store, inexpensive, have less preparation time, and are convenient, most people opt for processed and packed foods.
Although it is really hard to deny these ready-made foods, are they really worth it? The impact of these processed foods on health is quite staggering when consumed on a regular basis.
These synthetic foods are full of fat, coloring agents, and many preservatives. These preservatives contain:
- Sodium or Salt: Salt or other sodium compounds are added to the processed foods during preparation or processing for flavor or preservation. Excessive amounts of sodium can lead to many health problems such as high blood pressure, overweight, and obesity; strong risk factors for various heart diseases
- Nitrates: In processed foods, nitrate preservatives can promote atherosclerosis and lower glucose tolerance; this could result in higher risk of heart disease and diabetes
Preservatives and additives are generally used to sustain safety and prolong the shelf life of food. Heavy tampering and devious modification are done by manufacturers to make these foods alluringly delicious. However, during processing of foods, essential vitamins and enzymes are destroyed which are required by our body to thrive, hence these foods become detrimental to human health. One of the recent study revealed that preservatives present in the processed foods, increases the risk of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD).
We all can change our lives with some planning and commitment. Although, we all have spent years doing damage to our body, it’s never too late to fix this damage by switching our diet. The alluring taste of these processed foods is not easy to avoid, but some measures need to be taken to make our lives better. Here are some tips to avoid these processed and packaged foods:
- Micha R, Michas G, Lajous M, et al. Processing of meats and cardiovascular risk: time to focus on preservatives. BMC Medicine. 2013;11:136.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/sodium.htm. Accessed on August 12, 2013.