With everyday life becoming busier and busier, it’s so easy to swing by a fast food drive thru or pick up something quick and easy at the supermarket for dinner. The days seem to be getting shorter and our waistlines seem to be getting bigger. Is there a connection?
The short answer is Yes.
Let’s dig a little deeper and talk about why.
By definition, processed foods are foods that are altered from their natural state to enhance their qualities. The alterations often times include the addition of trans fats, additional sugar to get us “hooked”, and chemicals with names too difficult to spell or even pronounce.
For example, according to consumeraffairs.com, high fructose corn syrup is a common sweetener added to processed foods and is extremely unhealthy. It increases your triglyceride levels—the level of fat in your blood—and LDL, the bad type of cholesterol. An average U.S. citizen will consume 68 pounds of high fructose corn syrup every year. 68 pounds. Why is so much consumed? Because it’s in practically every processed food product made.
Remember those chemicals mentioned? Why are those chemicals added? For visual appeal, longer shelf life, and a little bit more of the get us “hooked” factor.
A seven-year study conducted on 200,000 people by the University of Hawaii found that those who eat large amounts of processed meats such as hot dogs and spam have a 67% higher risk of getting cancer than those who ate little or no processed meats.
High Cholesterol and Cancer risk are only two of the detrimental effects of eating processed foods on a regular basis. One of the biggest factors to consider is the rising numbers of obesity.
Obesity brings with it a roster of health issues that would make your head spin. According to the World Health Organization, processed foods are to blame for the spike in obesity levels and chronic disease around the world.
Nature has provided us with all that we need to maintain a healthy and fit body. It just takes a little bit more time and effort to find nutritional foods that haven’t been “redesigned” by scientists. In our next post, we will talk a little about some of the ways you can break your processed food “addiction” and get on the right path for a healthier you.