Processed foods have become a way of life in our busy culture. For many families, whole foods have become a rare part of their normal diet. Food that has been chemically processed or that has added preservatives is generally inexpensive and easy to find.
Eating these processed foods regularly can have a serious impact on your health. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider how you eat and try to eat better.
Sugar or High-Fructose Corn Syrup
For starters, sugars provide what are known as empty calories, which means that they don’t give your body much of what it needs apart from energy. However, the effects of excessive sugar can be far more severe. Too many sweets can cause insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides. These things are associated with diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Many processed foods and snacks contain a lot of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup to give them a sweet, irresistible taste. Including too much sugar in your diet is sure to have a negative impact on your health.
The carbs that are usually found in processed foods are refined, simple carbs which are quickly broken down by our bodies. This leads to a spike in both blood sugar and insulin levels.
Whether you seek out carbs or stay away from them, the important thing is to go for carbs that come from whole foods rather than processed foods. Look for complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbs.
Processed foods often contain high levels of unhealthy trans fats. Trans fats and processed vegetable oils are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Low Levels of Fiber in Processed Foods
Not only is it commonplace at the supermarket, but also most fast food restaurants use processed ingredients in preparing their meals. Cutting down on processed foods will mean spending more money and sacrificing the luxury of being able to pick up a meal on the road at your convenience.
Processed foods are typically low in fiber, which is also lost or removed during processing. Fiber has a number of positive effects on our bodies. It helps to get our digestive system going, which makes it effective at fighting constipation. Fiber also helps to boost the helpful bacteria in the intestines, which helps to promote healthy digestion.
One of the most positive effects of fiber is that is slows down the rate that our bodies process carbs. That allows us to feel fuller for longer. Regardless of how you feel about carbs consume them from whole foods. Processed food contain carbs that are unhealthy for you.