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What is a processed food

By Edited Feb 16, 2014 0 0

Introduction

One of the latest trends in the diet world is the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet advocates eating like our ancestors did. This means that processed foods are not allowed in this diet. Rather you should eat things like: Organic meat, fruit and nuts. Carbs are to be avoided. However, many people wonder why processed foods are so bad. The purpose of this article therefore is to explain why you should avoid packaged foods.

Processed foods

Packaged foods contain the following things that are bad for the health:

1. Trans Fats

Trans fats are in crispy crackers, French fries and popcorn. It is proven that trans fats are twice as dangerous for your heart as saturated foods. This may be one of the greatest blunders in food processing, since people initially thought trans fats were much better for the health of the heart.

2. Refined Grains

Refined grains are contained in white bread, white rice and white pasta. You should instead eat whole grains, since refined grains can raise the chance of a heart attack by 30%. People who eat whole grains also feel much more energetic.

3. Salt

Sodium is necessary in order to live. However, nowadays almost all foods contain an excess of salt. If you consume to much salt on a daily basis, your body will retain fluid in order to dilute the excess of sodium.

4. High fructose corn syrup

This liquid sweetener may upset human metabolism. Nowadays, we consume 68 pounds of corn syrup per person per year. Corn syrup is even contained in whole-wheat bread, since it gives bread an inviting, brownish color.

Reasons

You might wonder: Why are foods processed anyways? The reason for this is that if foods are processed the growth of bacteria, molds and yeast is controlled and therefore the life of the food enhances.  Also it gives manufacturers a chance to improve the taste of the food by adding chemical ingredients that make it sweeter or tastier.

Foods to be avoided

You can read the label of products and look for the four ingredients discussed earlier in the article in order to avoid eating bad processed foods. However, in order to be sure you don’t eat these horrible foods, I have made the following list:

  • packaged meal mixes that are high in fat and salt
  • breakfast cereals containing sugar
  • packaged high-calorie snacks such as chocolate bars and candies                                                                                         
  • canned foods with large amounts of sodium or fat

Paleo Diet

This diet was invented by Walter Voeglin during the seventies of the last century.  The concept behind the Paleo diet is as follows: The modern age human doesn’t differ much in genetic aspects from the hunters and gatherers from 10,000 years ago. Therefore, we should eat the same food as our ancestors.

Following the Paleo Diet is the best way to avoid eating processed foods and other junk. The Paleo Diet promotes eating whole foods and fiber rich food. Furthermore the diet is free of casein and gluten. Many people are allergic for these ingredients, but still the manufacturers make foods that contain gluten and casein. If you want to develop a truly healthy lifestyle, you should adopt the Paleo Diet.

The only disadvantage of the Paleo Diet is that it can be rather pricy. Buying organic meat all the time will be expensive. Furthermore it is very complicated to completely follow the Paleo Diet this day and age. What if you go to a restaurant with your best friends? Most things that are served in a restaurant are not compatible with the Paleo Diet.

However, you do not have to follow the diet very strictly. As long as you try to avoid processed foods full of salt and trans fats, you will be fine.

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