The term ‘processed foods’, unfortunately includes some of the tastiest, easily available and easy-to-prepare food items. These canned foods, microwavable and dehydrated items are cheap on time and pocket. Once you know what the ingredients of these seemingly harmless food items are you will think twice before you buy any.
Obesity caused by overeating
Processed food is often devoid of fiber, water, and nutrients and rich in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These trigger the release of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter and make you feel satisfied. This neurotransmitter-high can cause you to become addicted to the meal and cause frequent food cravings. It is obvious that when you eat an excess of fats, carbs, proteins, processed sugar etc., you will gain weight. Another reason for obesity is the amount of insulin release that is stimulated by these foods. Insulin excess can often result in diabetes too.
Some shocking ingredients
Ever heard of titanium dioxide? This chemical is found in paints and sunscreens, and evidently also in salad dressings, coffee creams, and cake icing. Another ingredient which will shock you is sand or silicon dioxide, which is found in canned and fast food. Sodium bisulphate, a toilet bowl cleaning chemical is found coated over potato chips. Lanolin is an oily substance found in sheep wool, which is also added to chewing gums.
Mood swings, depression and memory issues
Stripped of essential fatty acids and nutrients for maintaining a healthy blood-sugar level and hormone function, processed food can cause a cumulative effect on your hormones, your brain, and your heart. This can result in mood swings, depression, and memory loss issues because your brain tries to cope with the sub-par nutrition it gets.
Processed meat and cancer
When meat is processed, it is preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or by chemicals. Nitrates are frequently used as chemical preservatives and these can be converted to nitrosamines in the body. These nitrosamines and the different kinds of heterocyclic amines that are often found in processed meat have been associated with high risks of developing cancer.
Malnutrition and infertility
Eating a diet that is devoid of the essential minerals and nutrients is as good as starving. Processed food can make you feel satisfied when in reality your internal ecosystem is starving. This causes malnutrition even after eating a lot. It has been proven that malnutrition persisting for 3 consecutive generations can cause infertility, which is a rising issue in the US.
Processed food items may appear to be an easier choice, but these items are more harmful than you think. A longer shelf-life is probably the only real advantage of canned and processed food.