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The Dangers of Highly Processed Foods

By Sara Butler

Highly processed foods are everywhere. From hot dogs to potato chips to boxed macaroni and cheese, these foods are convenient for your wallet but inconvenient for your health. Many highly processed foods are stripped of fiber, vitamins, and minerals while full of added sugar, salt, and saturated fat. That's why overindulging in these foods is a terrible idea if you're trying to stay healthy. Here are just a few of the health risks associated with highly processed foods to help give you a reason to avoid them.

How They're Harmful to Your Health

When people eat a diet full of highly processed foods, also known as junk food, it can really be harmful to their overall health. Diets high in processed foods are associated with higher body weight, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that the additives in junk food, such as high-fructose corn syrup, carrageenan, MSG, and emulsifiers can have an impact on cardiovascular health.

Many Levels of Processing

When it comes to processed foods, it's important to keep in mind that not all processing is created equal. After all, chopped spinach is considered processed, but it's not considered a food that is unhealthy for you. What you need to be on the lookout for are foods that are highly processed without a lot of nutritional content, such as bacon, breakfast cereal, and white bread.

Some processed foods are OK to add to your diet and can actually help contribute to health. Foods such as frozen fruits and vegetables, tofu, and even sauerkraut are beneficial for your health and don't need to be avoided.

What to Do

Whenever you can, you should opt for whole foods or foods that have been minimally processed. Skip over foods that have been highly processed to help safeguard your body against disease and, most importantly, keep your body properly nourished. It won't take you long to find healthy recipes that don't take a lot of time to cook in your kitchen. Fish, for example, or whole-grain pasta make great additions to any diet. If you want to save more time, then make more than you need and save some for lunch or dinner the next day.

You may also want to consider growing a garden to help increase the amount of fresh food available to you and to keep the overall costs of cooking healthy down. At the very least, an herb garden is easy to maintain while adding some serious flavor to your meals.

If you need help with choosing healthier foods, then talk to the chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic today!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Buford, Ga.

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