Should you eliminate processed foods from your diet? The answer is a very big, “Yes!” Processed foods are literally shortening the lifespans of millions of people across the world. What exactly makes processed foods so bad and where do you find processed foods? Let’s take a closer look.
Processed foods are foods that you find in boxes and packages in your grocery store, but they are also to be found in fast food, junk food and snack food. One of the single largest problems with eating out is that processed food is hiding almost everywhere; they are even at restaurants that you wouldn’t think would be using processed ingredients.
The problem with processed foods is that they are almost always low in nutritional value, which leaves your body desperate for true nutrition. Ultimately, this deficiency means you will have more food cravings.
If you want your body to have the fuel that it needs and avoid hunger cravings, then you need the vitamins and minerals your body requires. Processed food, junk food and fast food normally fail to provide quality nutrition. Quite often, vitamins are added to processed food because without these extra vitamins the food would be of such low quality that it would hardly qualify as food at all. Further, these added vitamins are usually inexpensive and low quality vitamins that are poorly absorbed by the body.
Unfortunately, the only problem with processed food isn’t that it is just low in nutritional value. Processed foods are also full of chemicals, pesticides, genetically modified ingredients or GMOs, sugar, artificial sweeteners, food colorings and food dyes and other harmful ingredients. Many ingredients in processed foods have been shown to be harmful to human health and are, in fact, banned in many countries around the world, including Europe.
Trans fats damage the heart and they are often in abundance in processed foods. The same fact holds true for sodium as well. If you read the labels on processed food, you will usually discover that they are low in nutrition but high in sugar, trans fats and sodium. In short, processed foods are the exact opposite of what you should be eating. Processed foods are many things, but healthy is usually not one of them!
Quite depressingly, even so-called “diet foods” are often nothing more than disguised processed food. Diet foods may even contain more chemicals and artificial sweeteners than options that may have more calories! This is definitely a situation where the consumer has to be extremely cautious.
The bottom line is that anyone looking to lose weight or be healthy should avoid processed foods in all forms, and that includes junk food, diet foods and fast food. Eating whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy grains and lean protein choices instead of processed food will help your body get the nutrition it needs so you can avoid cravings. If you are considering bariatric surgery, your goal should be to not only achieve weight loss success, but also good overall health as well. By following the guidelines we’ve described, you’ll be well on your way!