Choose Whole, Fresh, Unprocessed Foods
Choosing whole, fresh, unprocessed foods enhances weight loss and boosts energy. Plus, processed foods contain extra sugar, sodium, and preservatives that add on calories.
I am a great fan of homemade foods. I posted this tip earlier; http://easyhcgweightloss.com/video-five-top-reasons-home-cooking-wins. So in this post I am going to concentrate on why processed foods are bad for you.
Why Processed Foods are Bad for you
When researching this article I found an article here that truly mirrors my own thoughts so I’ve decided to comment on it and give real life examples.
1. Processed foods are addictive and can cause you to over-eat.
Whole foods are made up of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre and water. When foods are processed the components of these foods are modified (for example, fibre, water and nutrients are removed) and in other cases, components are concentrated. In each case, processing changes the way they are digested and assimilated in your body.
2. Processed foods are linked to obesity. Additives in processed foods, like high fructose corn syrup, sugar and MSG have been linked to weight gain and obesity.
3. Processed foods often contain ingredients that do not follow the principle of food combining which can lead to low energy, poor digestion, illness, acidic blood and weight gain.
An example would be a frozen meat and cheese pizza. Cheese (a dairy product), meat (an animal protein) and pizza crust (a grain product) make a terrible food combination that can wreak havoc on your digestive health.
4. Processed foods contribute to an imbalanced inner ecosystem, which can lead to digestive problems, cravings, illness and disease. Beneficial microflora cannot survive in your digestive tract when you are poisoning them. Like us they thrive on foods that are made by nature not by man.
5. A diet high in processed foods can lead to depression, memory issues and mood swings. Ingredients in processed foods are often the lowest cost and sub-par, nutritionally. For example, the fats and oils used in processed foods are refined, which means they are stripped of the essential fatty acids necessary for healthy blood sugar levels, moods and memory. Your heart, hormones and brain suffer when you choose to eat these fats and oils. Instead choose the organic, unrefined or “virgin” fats and oils that are recommended on The Body Ecology Diet.
6. Processed foods often go hand in hand with “eating on the run” or multitasking.
Most people will choose convenience if they are on the run and in today’s busy lives, who of us isn’t? Unfortunately, multitasking while eating causes people to lose touch with their natural appetite, often leading to weight gain. Additionally, multitasking sends the wrong signals to your digestive system, which needs to be in a restful mode to digest properly.
7. Nutrition labels on processed foods are often misleading and have harmful health effects.
Many labels say “sugar free,” but contain other sweeteners like agave, which is like high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, product labeling may hide ingredients like GM (genetically modified) foods and harmful additives like MSG. These are hidden behind words on the label like “natural flavorings” or “approved spices”.
8. Diets high in processed meats (like hot dogs and deli meats) have been linked to various forms of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer and stomach cancer.
9. Eating too many processed foods can lead to infertility and malnutrition. Processed foods, like cereal, are stripped of important vitamins and nutrients that your body truly needs. You could be eating a large amount of calories and still be malnourished if your diet is high in processed foods. Animal studies have shown that over three generations, a deficient diet causes reproduction to cease. Today, infertility is on the rise, affecting 7.3 million people in America alone.
10. Processed foods are made for long shelf-life, not long human life! Chemicals, additives and preservatives are added to processed foods so that they will last for a long time without going rancid or affecting the taste of the food. Food manufacturers spend time, money and research on beautiful packaging and strategies to lengthen shelf-life, with little attention on how the foods will lengthen your life or create lasting health.
A personal experience with Processed Foods
This happened to me as I did not like to cook, I remember a particular example.
Years ago I decided to do a Slimming World diet, UK equivalent to Weight Watchers. At the time the diet was based on Red (High Protein) or Green Days (High Carb) and included Free Foods (foods you did not need to count or measure – basically eat as much as you wanted). One of those was Muller Light Yogurts, I purchased 14 for the week. I thought I would have them as a dessert for each meal. Well day 1 arrived and I ate one, then another and suddenly I had eaten 12 – I was horrified and felt uncomfortable as I had stuffed myself without even realising. That’s the reason I don’t believe in any diet that includes processed foods.
My personal observation is that since in the UK and USA (I concentrated on both countries, UK because I lived there and USA due to the availability of information) had so much availability of processed foods the obesity epidemic has grown exponentially. Unfortunately, since other countries have jumped on the processed food bandwagon the problem has become globally widespread.
I think it was our own fault as we demanded cheaper and more available food. I was brought up on a diet of seasonal locally available foods and never had a weight problem until I was 28 and in the UK, where ready made and processed foods increased in the 80s
What is the solution on our busy lives?
I truly think we need to change slowly and try to include more homemade foods. I truly believe if we say no to one processed meal a week within 21 weeks we would have replaced them all and it would have become a habit. Ideally, organic food is best but I also understand there can be budgeting and availability issues but surely replacing ready meals for home cooked ones is a start.