The Dangers Of Highly Processed Foods
Guest Post by Deeksha Tripathi
One of the nutrition initiatives taken by the FDA, in the year 2022, is to check the production of highly processed foods.
Highly processed foods refer to ready-to-eat items available in the market which have undergone a lot of processing. That is to say, they have huge amounts of preservatives, added flavours and chemicals. Some examples of heavily processed foods include tinned cheese, aerated drinks and white bread.
Processed food constitutes nearly 70% of American diets. The sad part is these food items can prove dangerous to your health over the long run. It is important to reduce the intake of highly processed foods to save yourself from these dangers.
Are Highly Processed Foods Dangerous?
The answer to this is a sure shot yes!
Processed foods have unhealthy levels of sodium, fat and added sugars. These foods are also high in refined carbohydrates and trans fat.
In effect, overconsumption of processed food can lead to health risks like obesity, diabetes and vascular diseases.
One study even linked such foods with cancer risks. A study conducted with 100,000 adults points out that 10% more processed food was associated with 10% increased risks of coronary heart diseases and cerebrovascular disorders. To save yourself from these lethal health problems, you should replace processed food intake with vegetables, fruits and cereals.
Go for healthier food options, to reduce the risk of the many dangers of highly processed foods. Processed foods can prove harmful to your physical as well as mental well-being.
4 Dangers of Highly Processed Foods
By educating yourself about the serious effects of consuming such food items, you can not only make better dietary choices but also take educate others about their ill effects. Here are a few of the dangers which emphasize the importance of healthy eating.
It is a known fact that sugar increases the risk of obesity. An obese person is more prone to chronic diseases. The labels on highly processed foods use sugar under the name of its various types. Fructose, maltose and sucrose,for instance. That is to say, you need to educate yourself to avoid packaged food items using high amounts of sugar.
An amount equal to 10% of daily calories is recommended as daily sugar intake. Going by which, you should avoid processed foods like soft drinks which contain this limited amount of 10% alone.
#2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Emulsifiers are added to processed food to increase their shelf life. These emulsifiers can play a role in causing inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease.
The shocking part is these emulsifiers are similar to those found in detergents and soaps. The use of these harmful substances in food leads to inflammation in the digestive system. As a matter of fact, emulsifiers are used in almost all processed foods. In effect, you should limit its consumption as much as possible.
#3. Colorectal Cancer
Processed meat, chicken, bacon, sausages and beef can increase the risks of having colon cancer. A study says that consumption of 50 grams of processed meat daily can raise the risk of colon cancer by 18%.
The chemicals used to preserve these meats are said to have certain carcinogenic compounds. For the same reason, you should opt for fresh meat to prevent such dangers of processed food.
#4. Anxiety And Depression
Healthy eating is always advised for a sound mind. Processed food is linked to disrupting mental health and results in depression and anxiety. It might be due to the added sugar that serotonin production cannot take place in the gut.
Serotonin is a mood stabilizing hormone and high levels of sugar can affect its secretion. As a result, this may lead to mental health problems like depression and anxiety. To ensure a healthy state of mind, you should cut on highly processed food as much as possible.
To sum up, while the easy availability and low prices of processed food items may attract you, their dangers need much more attention. Overconsumption of such food items can cause chronic heart diseases, anxiety, obesity and even cancer. The harmful additives and preservatives degrade the nutritional profile of processed food. These can prove highly dangerous and unhealthy.
All in all, you should prefer healthier alternatives such as fresh meat and vegetables, fresh bread and cheese and homemade muesli in your diet.
By making conscious choices in your diet, you are sure to live a long, happy and healthy life!
Do you believe that highly processed foods are dangerous for you? Which foods do you think are extremely unhealthy? Let us know in the comments section below!
Author Bio: Deeksha Tripathi
Deeksha Tripathi is a Literature graduate and is currently pursuing her Master's in Business Administration. Besides being a passionate writer, she is a fashion enthusiast. She enjoys trying different types of Indian curries or shopping for trending vintage aesthetic outfits.