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10 Ways This One Type Of Food Is Killing You Slowly (#10 is Spot On!)
This one type of food is killing people by the thousands, perhaps millions, every single year. What type of food is this? Processed foods. These are so much worse than you think are.
How do we know this? It’s fairly obvious. Whenever a culture begins to move away from their natural diet and adopts a more “Westernized” diet, high in processed foods and sugar, they start to develop Westernized diseases. They become sick, fat, develop heart disease and diabetes.
This all happens within a generation or two, by the way. The genes of the population do not change that quickly, but they food they are consuming changes their bodies dramatically.
Are you unsure about exactly what we mean by processed foods? The word itself is somewhat self-explanatory even though some foods we eat are somewhat processed but not necessarily bad. For example, apples cut from the tree are natural with no processing. Applesauce is merely diced, cooked apples with a touch of honey and cinnamon (if you make them yourself) so although they are slightly “processed”, you wouldn’t consider this a bad food. Butter, also, is slightly processed cream but there are no chemicals involved.
When we talk about processed foods we are talking about dangerous foods that have been made from mainly refined ingredients (such as white bread) or foods that have been chemically altered and/or chemically processed, such as vegetable oils.
Take a look at the top 10 ways that processed foods are killing you slowly, bit by bit, with every single mouthful that you take.
1. High In Trans Fats
Almost all processed foods are high in an unhealthy type of fat called trans fat. This is because the main idea behind processed foods is to make them as cheaply as possible. Refined seed and/or vegetable oils (such as corn or soybean oil) are super inexpensive and because they are partially hydrogenated, this makes them super high in trans fats, the worst possible type of fat that you can consume.
Vegetable oils are extremely unhealthy. They contain excessively high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which drive inflammation in the body as well as oxidation. Numerous studies have shown that when people eat foods that are high in trans fats that they have a significant increase in their risk of developing heart disease.
The best way to avoid trans fats is to avoid processed foods, seed oils, and vegetable oils. Eat natural oils such as butter, olive oil, and coconut oil instead!
2. High In Sugars
For great flavor, almost all processed foods are loaded with added sugars, especially the cheap and dangerous high fructose corn syrup. Sugar, when consumed in excess, is very harmful to the body. Sugar, especially white sugar, is nothing more than empty calories. It has no real nutritional value, other than some instant energy, but nothing else. Of course, sugar is high in calories, which means it often leads to obesity.
Eating a diet high in sugar often leads to high cholesterol levels, increased levels of fat in the liver and belly, as well as insulin resistance, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Of course, most people aren’t getting diabetes from a spoonful of sugar in their coffee. It’s the processed foods that contain tons of sugar. Don’t forget that processed foods also mean beverages, such as sodas. If you really want to improve your health and lose weight, simply drop processed foods from your life.
3. Processed Foods Are Easy To Eat
Although this might sound like a big plus, you know, “so creamy it melts in your mouth”, you need fiber in your diet. Food manufacturers need their foods to have a long shelf life. Since they also want each batch of their product to have a similar consistency and taste they often make their foods deliberately easy to chew and swallow.
This is because almost all the fiber has been removed. It takes much less time to eat processed foods than whole foods, which means you can swallow down a whole lot more before you even realize it. It also takes your body less time to digest these foods. We only burn half as many calories digesting processed foods as we do whole foods. Add the extra calories we are eating and you can see how easy it is to gain weight eating processed foods.
4. They Are Hyper-Rewarding
Imagine that every time you sneezed, your boss gave you an extra $50. You would be looking for ways to make yourself sneeze after a while, correct? It’s the same with our bodies. Our appetite gravitates towards foods that are fatty, salty, and sweet because our bodies know that these foods contained nutrients and energy that was necessary to our very survival. In order to appeal to our taste buds and that primal need that is still in us, Big Food tries to engineer foods to be super rewarding to the brain. This is why many people nowadays prefer processed foods to natural foods.
Our brains get so much more of a “reward” by eating salty, sweet, fatty foods than it ever gets from eating an apple or oatmeal. Good food is exactly that; good for you! But processed foods that are engineered to be super rewarding to the brain, short-circuiting our natural brakes against over eating are not good at all.
5. They Are Super Low in Fiber
Besides being low in nutrients, processed foods are also low in fiber, especially soluble fiber. One of the main functions of fiber is that they are a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in the digestive system. Fiber also slows the absorption of carbs and helps us to feel full. Fiber is known to be the best preventative measure when it comes to fighting colorectal cancer.
Natural foods usually contain both soluble and insoluble fiber because our body knows it needs both to be its healthy best. Processed foods remove almost all natural fiber. This is not a good thing. Low fiber diets often lead to higher levels of toxins in the body due to constipation and a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
6. They Are Full Of Artificial Ingredients
Have you looked at any labels lately on processed foods? Some of the words are so long and complicated, you need to be a chemist to figure out what they are talking about. Read a label sometime and you will see things like:
- Acesulfame potassium
- Glycerin (this is a byproduct of soap)
- Guar gum
- Chromium amino acid chelate
- Sodium selenite
- Defatted peanut flour
- Hydrolyzed gelatin
- Dipotassium phosphate
One thing is for certain; none of the ingredients listed above are food. It’s important to note that many processed foods can contain ingredients that aren’t even listed on the label. For example: Artificial flavor means that the company has a “secret” blend of artificial ingredients. Since this is covered by their copyright, they don’t have to tell you exactly what chemicals are making up their “artificial flavor” blend.
7. They Are Low in Nutrition
Compared to whole, natural foods, processed foods are extremely low in nutrients. Although some foods might state that they are ‘fortified with vitamins and minerals’, you can be they are using synthetic vitamins and minerals that are difficult for the body to actually absorb and use. Let’s not forget that real food contains so much more than just vitamins and minerals anyway; things like tract nutrients, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, just to name a few.
Food cravings are usually your body’s way of trying to get you to eat something that contains a vitamin or other nutrient that it is missing. You will never find what your body is looking for in processed foods.
8. They Are High In Refined Carbs
Although carbohydrates are necessary for the body, too many carbs, especially refined carbs, are terribly bad for you and often lead to obesity.
Carbs from whole foods, such as potatoes, are good for you. Carbs from refined foods, such as white bread, are bad for you. Refined carbs are quickly broken down by the body, which leads to huge spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. A few hours later, you are hungry and find yourself looking for more sugar or carbs. Not surprisingly, a diet high in refined carbs has been shown to have detrimental health effects. Don’t be fooled by those “whole grain” labels. They might have been whole grains at one time, but they are pulverized and processed into a fine flour and are no longer “whole” by the time you eat them. This is common in cereals and breads. Avoid refined carbs by eating whole, single ingredient foods, not processed foods.
9. They Are Highly Addicting
As we mentioned before, the hyper reward system of processed foods leads many people to, quite literally, become addicted to them. For some people, their brains become so hooked on processed foods, they lose all control over their consumption and have no desire to eat anything that doesn’t come in a box or bag. Food addiction to processed foods is one of the biggest problems in America. Our brain biochemistry has been kidnapped or hijacked by the extreme dopamine levels that happen when we eat processed foods.
This addiction to sugar, salt, or some of the other ingredients in processed foods has been well documented and proven in numerous studies. Some studies have shown that these highly rewarding foods active the same areas in the brain that drugs like cocaine do. Avoid becoming a food addict! Eat whole, natural foods. If the label has more than 5 ingredients or contains ingredients with words you don’t recognize, make another food choice.
10. It’s All About The Capitalism!
It really all comes down to dollars and cents. The food companies that make processed foods (General Mills, Kraft, and Coke, just to name a few of the biggest names) are publicly traded companies. They are there to make a profit for their shareholders. They don’t care about your health. They don’t care if they are offering nutritious foods and they certainly don’t care if the foods they are making are killing you or giving you diseases. They only want to turn a profit. So they use the cheapest possible ingredients, the most addicting substances, and use the prettiest, most appealing packages to ensure that you keep coming back for more. If people would stop buying processed foods as they are made today and demand that companies start making healthier options for people, things would turn around on a dime. If people stop buying, companies stop making money. These companies will do surveys trying to find out what people want and they will give it to them.
You can change the world! Stop buying processed foods and demand real food. This is one change that everyone will agree upon!