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Processed Foods – Convenience at a Cost

August 29, 2013

By Coach Maria – Salus Nutritionist & Food Expert

The grocery store aisles are inundated with processed foods.

We have been convinced that processed foods are the answer to our busy lives.

Colorful boxes and packages, clever advertisements and marketing that lure us into thinking the processed foods are actually healthy!

There’s only one truth to processed foods – they are convenient.  And the manufacturers know all too well that in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, convenience reigns supreme!

The companies that produce this convenience are running a business, their bottom line is the almighty dollar, not your current or future state of health – trust me on this.

There’s nothing more convenient than dumping contents out of a box and turning it into a meal by either microwaving, boiling or baking it without taking time for food prep.
But what is the price we pay for this seemingly gift of convenience?

Processed foods always contain additives.  Most commonly seen are high fructose corn syrup, sugar and MSG – all linked to weight gain and obesity.  If you are consuming processed foods on a regular basis, you can imagine the impact these additives have on your waistline.

Sugars, high fructose corn syrup, processed carbs all have an impact on brain chemistry.  They can artificially stimulate dopamine – the brain’s pleasure center – which plays a role in addiction.

Ingredients used in processed foods are on the lowest link in the chain of quality ingredients.  They do nothing for your nutritional requirements.  The oils used are highly refined and stripped of essential fatty acids necessary for optimal mental health.

Having labels such as “sugar free“, “natural flavorings” or “approved spices” leads consumers to believe that it is a healthy product or, at the very least, contains healthy ingredients.  On the contrary, a product that says sugar free, contains a sweetener like agave (i.e. acts the same as high fructose corn syrup) or an artificial sweetener (which has compelling negative impact on our health).  MSG additive hides behind the label natural flavorings and approved spices – anytime you see these included in the ingredients list, it’s most certain that it is MSG.

In order for these processed foods to last on the shelf, manufacturers spend time, money and research to add whatever chemicals, additives or preservatives that will keep the flavor of the product.  That translates into some nasty ingredients that are produced in a lab – not anything you will see in nature. Over time, those ingredients will – most assuredly – impact your health in disastrous ways.

What To Do?

It’s not easy to remove all processed foods from your daily diet, but by taking gradual steps to eliminate them and replacing them with real whole foods, you will be providing your body and mind with optimal fuel that will have a positive impact on your health now and in the future.

Sources:
Natural Society
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
NCBI

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