The Health Dangers of Processed Food
By Stepy Kamei
One of the best ways you can take care of your health and wellness is by making sure you're eating a diet that's highly nutritious and healthy. Unfortunately, there are all kinds of reasons why, even when we have the best of intentions, we end up unable to reach these health goals. Sometimes, we're rushing to or from work and we need to grab something quick and on the go. Other times, we may be exhausted after a long day at the office and we just don't feel like we have the energy to cook something truly nutritious. These are the common traps that often lead us to choosing processed food options. Processed food is often bad for our health in multiple ways. Read on to learn more about the ways in which processed foods damage your health, as well as easy ways to find more nutritious replacements.
Why is Processed Food Unhealthy?
To better understand this question, it helps to know what exactly is (and isn't) in processed foods. Essentially, processed foods are foods that have been heavily influenced by human contact. For instance, frozen meals, packaged cereals, breads, and snacks, and even low-fat products, are all considered highly processed. Therefore, they tend to be stripped of much of their nutritional value so that they can be preserved on grocery store shelves for a longer period of time. Adding preservatives involves the use of large amounts of salt, sugar, or fat, which only harms the body when consumed in such large quantities. Adding insult to injury is the fact that not only are you ingesting lots of unhealthy substances, you're also not getting nearly as many nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, since they've been mostly stripped away as a result of processing.
Reclaim a Healthier Diet
If you want to avoid eating too many processed foods, you're on the right track for better health and wellness! To start, focus on adding more whole foods to your shopping list. This means foods that are minimally processed, and therefore contain the nutrients your body needs. Whole grains and wheat (bread, pasta, oatmeal), fresh fruits and vegetables, full-fat yogurt, lean protein (fish, chicken), and beans all make excellent bases for healthy meals. You'll be getting the vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and other nutrients you need, minus the harmful additives brought on during the processing stage of food preparation.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wake Forest, N.C.