Effects of Processed Foods on Our Health

Effects of Processed Foods on Our Health

In reality, we don’t live near our food sources and must purchase food that we can store. We also often don’t have much time to cook, thus require semi-prepared food that will not need lots of time to prepare for these reasons, we always find processed food to be convenient. Not all processed foods are harmful; for example, fruits canned in their juice and pre-canned vegetable are healthy foods. However, we need to be careful as the convenience of highly processed food can mean excessive amounts of hidden sugar, sodium, and fats. There are various types of processed foods which include;

  • Milk
  • Cereals
  • Bread
  • cheese
  • potato chips
  • cookies

There are also various techniques for processing foods, any processed foods can either be canned, frozen, baked, pasteurized or dried. There are multiple processing levels that foods go through; for vegetables, they can first be cleaned, chopped, divided and then sold in bags. However, over-processed food typically will have lots of salt, extra sugar, calories and oil. An example of such is frozen pizza. It is recommended to avoid over-processed food. If you must take these foods, ensure you source them from reliable food companies. Online review sites such as Britainreviews.co.uk  will help you look at uk food companies delivery services online reviews and thus choose reputable companies. This article concentrates on the ingredients of processed foods and the effect that these ingredients have on our bodies.

Refined carbohydrates

Any diet contains carbohydrates as a vital component. Nevertheless, the carbohydrates in whole food usually offer more health benefits than is the case with refined carbohydrate. Refined, carbohydrates tend to be broken down by the body rapidly, leading to quick spikes in the body insulin and sugar levels, which is accompanied by a drop in the levels of the two. When the insulin and sugar levels drop, one tends to have low energy levels and tend to have food cravings. Because taking refined carbs causes a rapid increase and decrease in the blood sugar level, consuming them is associated with a greater risk of having type 2 diabetes. Over processed foods tend to have high levels of refined carbohydrates. Some sources of healthful carbohydrates include;

  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Pulse and beans
  • vegetables

Added sugar

Processed foods usually have added sugar and high amounts of fructose corn syrup. Added sugar does not have essential nutrients; instead, it tends to have high amounts of calories. By frequent intake of large amounts of added sugar, it can result in compulsive overeating. It has also been associated with other health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases and obesity. Processed beverages and foods are amongst the primary sources of added sugar in the diet. Specifically, sweetened beverages are a substantial source. By consuming soft drinks, we intake large amounts of sugar than we realize. One way we can make our diet to be more healthy is by substituting soda with sparkling water.

Contains low amounts of fibre

There are a variety of benefits associated with dietary fibre. Fibre slows down the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed, and this helps a person get satisfied just by consuming lesser quantities of calories. Additionally, fibre feeds the friendly bacteria in the digestive system and is also good in boosting the heart’s health. Most highly processed food tend to have minimal amounts of fibre as during processing, fibre is lost. Some of the healthy sources of fibre include;

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds

 Artificial ingredients

Processed foods have a  list of ingredients that typically contain lots of substances that aren’t recognizable. Some of them comprise artificial chemicals added by the manufacturer to ensure that they are more delicious. The following types of chemical are usually contained in processed foods.

  • Texturing agents
  • Artificial colouring
  • Chemical flavouring
  • Preservatives

Processed food also typically have lots of other extra chemicals, some of which aren’t listed on their packages. For example, most of them tend to include artificial flavour without revealing what it is precisely.

Have a low nutrient content

Typically, highly processed food contains very low amounts of essential nutrients compared with their whole foods counterparts or minimally processed foods. At times, manufacturers add synthetic minerals and vitamins to substitute the nutrients that have been lost during manufacturing. Nevertheless, whole foods offer lots of healthful compounds that you can’t find in highly processed foods. For example, grains, vegetables, and fruits have healthful plant compounds with anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antioxidant effects. These comprise carotenoids, flavonoids, tannins and anthocyanin. To ensure that you get a wide variety of essential nutrients, eat lots of whole foods.

In conclusion, while one may find it convenient to consume processed foods as most are ready to eat and save you lots of preparation time and energy. This article has covered the effects of consuming the ingredient often found in processed food. It is thus advisable to stick to whole foods.