In the modern world, many foods are processed in order to make them faster to produce and preserve them for longer. However, they are having a detrimental effect on our health. There are so many chemicals and toxins in processed foods along with a low nutritional content – nutritional content being the primary reason we eat food.
Many children growing up in modern society have no idea where food actually comes from. Some religions such as Muslim families will perform sacred acts such as Qurbani (the sacrifice of an animal) to remind themselves of where their food actually comes from, but many young children will never see or experience this religious custom, leaving them without knowledge or education of the sacrifice made for our food.
We live in a society with a fast food restaurant on every street corner and it is contributing to the ever-growing problem of obesity. The processed foods purchased at these establishments are made with saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, nitrates and sugar. Some of the worst processed foods include; chicken nuggets, ‘plastic’ cheese, diet versions of foods and French fries. Here are some reasons why processed foods are so bad for us and are detrimental to our health as a society.
High in Sugar
We all know that when consumed in excess, sugar is seriously harmful to our health and processed foods are usually loaded with sugar. Sugar is just an empty calorie and has absolutely no essential nutrients within, but a large amount of energy.
Large consumption of sugar can also have detrimental effects on your metabolism and lead to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, increased levels of the harmful cholesterol and increased fat accumulation in the liver and abdominals.
The biggest problem is that most people are not only consuming excess sugar because they are putting spoonfuls in their coffee or on their cereals, but they are consuming it unknowingly because it is hidden in unexpected items of food like bread and baked beans, or food manufacturers are hiding it under unrecognizable names like:
- Corn syrup
Obviously, food manufacturers want us to like their product and come back time and time again to purchase it from them. In order for them to do this, it has to taste good. But within modern society, the competition is fierce and all of the processed food manufacturers are head to head against each other.
For this reason, massive resource is spent making foods as desirable as possible – meaning that we feel a sense of ‘reward’ from the brain when we eat them. For some people, this can overpower anything they have come across in nature and is therefore how we become ‘addicted’ to junk food.
If you take any ingredients label for processed and packaged food, you probably won’t know what some of the ingredients are. This is because many of the ingredients are not actually real foods.
Low fat, diet and ‘healthy’ looking foods are disguised as looking as a good choice but are actually loaded with preservatives, artificial synthetic colors and chemicals that give that good flavor and texture. Take low fat, for example, if you take the fat out of a food, you are not left with a lot of flavors, so in order to make it taste nice, it has to be filled with artificial flavors and preservatives.
Less Energy to Digest
The way that processed foods are manufactured, they are usually very easy to chew and swallow. Most of the fiber has been taken out of the ingredients and many of the natural nutrients. This means that it takes less energy to eat and digest processed foods – allowing us to eat more in a shorter amount of time. We also burn less energy digesting them than we would if they were whole foods and the missing fibre means that it is more difficult to feel full.
The Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) is a measure of how much different food stimulates energy expenditure after eating. It totals to about 10% of total energy expenditure in the average person. Eating processed foods reduces this energy expenditure due to the less energy required to digest it meaning it is easier to consume more calories than those burnt in a day – leading to weight gain.
Time to Change
Its time to change the unhealthy toxic foods habits. Don’t you think that you need to make sure you are giving yourself and your family’s healthier choices to ensure a healthy life? Don’t pollute their bodies with these chemicals toxins that lead to disease and a lifetime of health problem both physically and mentally. Choose organic and/or local produce and food. Check labels, do your research, and give them healthy meals that will help them have healthy bodies and minds.