Published: 08/20/2015 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
If you were to have to find a good reason for eating processed foods, it sure would be difficult to find that reason. But if you needed to find reasons to eat non-processed foods…well, in that case you wouldn’t be able to stop talking about them. So if you don’t eat processed foods, what DO you eat?
If you’re starting to travel down the path towards a healthier diet, the first months will undoubtedly be very difficult, especially if you’ve eat a diet based on processed foods for a long time. Here you will find a few ideas for relieving your body and mind from these foods.
- 1. Processed foods make simple foods more complicated and unhealthy
- 2. Processed foods damage the body
- 3. Processed foods could make you sick, or even kill you
- 4. Processed foods have been designed to create addiction
- 5. Do you want to be fat? Processed food will help!
- 6. After eating Burger King or McDonald’s, you’ll never say “I feel great!”
- 7. When at least 80% of your diet is made up of fresh foods, your health will improve
1. Processed foods make simple foods more complicated and unhealthy
When we talk about “processed foods” we’re talking about foods that are not found in their natural state when you buy them. Foods that have a long list of two or more ingredients on the label are considered to be “processed foods”.
For example, a bag of organic spinach has simply one ingredient: spinach. Nothing has been added or removed. So now take a moment to read the labels on packaged food that you may find in the supermarket. You’ll see thousands of ingredients which are all less natural.
One of the first and biggest “sins” of processing foods is that it makes foods lose a lot of nutritive value. All the good ingredients in a piece of food are blocked out by thousands of preservatives, emulsifiers, thickeners, colorings, flavoring…This interest that we have in selling “pretty things” has made food lose is natural power: that of nourishing.
2. Processed foods damage the body
The major alarming problem is what processed foods contain inside them. The vast majority of processed foods are filled with artificial ingredients, whose long-term effects are highly questionable, or even possibly carcinogenic. Some of these ingredients are: azodicarbonamide (E-927 a), butylhydroxyanisoleBHA (E-320), butylhydroxytoluene (BHT, E-321), and aspartame, just to name a few.
These chemical additives, colorings and artificial flavoring, preservatives, trans fats…are everywhere in processed foods. And an even greater problem is that we don’t exactly know what kind of damage they could be causing in our bodies.
What is known is that there is growing evidence between the consumption of processed foods and high levels of obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiac problems. This is already a hefty reason to try to avoid these foods at all cost.
When eating fresh and organic foods, there’s no reason to worry about health consequences, either immediate or over a long period of time. These types of foods are as healthy as nature has made them, and they retain their nutrients and healing properties.
3. Processed foods could make you sick, or even kill you
The more the foods have been “transformed”, and the more steps a food undergoes to become a “finished product”, the number of nutrients in this foods will drastically decrease. The food literally ends up ground up, pulverized, blended and extracted.
Producers are concerned about getting the most economical benefit, rather than nutrients in a food. This is gained by mass production at a very low cost, increasing a product’s shelf life by filling the food with artificial preservatives.
The problem is that, in spite of the fact that the food industry says the opposite, a lot of these chemical additives that are added to foods have been related to several health problems. This is pretty suggestive, isn’t it?
On the other hand, unprocessed, or minimally processed foods are much less likely to cause damage to the body, or to make us sick. These are live foods, and as such, break down much more quickly than processed foods. They’ll start to shrivel up, to smell, and to grow mold…but you can be sure that if you eat them fresh, you’ll reap the benefits of their nutrients without incurring any damage to your health.
4. Processed foods have been designed to create addiction
Can you make Doritos, Oreos or Coca-cola at home? Probably not, because very few of us have laboratories or all of the chemical ingredients that are needed to create these products. And not being able to make them is the best thing for us. What is it exactly that makes processed food, so nutrient-void and with so much excessive and added sugars, seem so appetizing and addictive?
Addiction to processed foods creates an obvious nutritional imbalance. By not receiving the nutrients the body needs from food, the body starts to demand even more food. The problem is that the mind is so fooled by processed food that we continue to add more of this kind of food to fill our needs. This is where obesity and several diseases start; there’s just one step.
On the other hand, just one piece of fruit, like an orange or a handful of blueberries, would be enough. Why? Because fruit gives the body the greatest amount of nutrients, including fiber, water, and slowly metabolized carbohydrates, which prevents the body from suffering from cravings that processed foods create.
5. Do you want to be fat? Processed food will help!
In spite of how advanced we feel we are, when it comes to processed food, a lot of us are more closely related to lab monkeys than we’d like to admit. We fall head-first, over and over again, into this nutrient-void food. Once you’ve become captive to these addictive substances, it’s very hard to get out of the circle.
The food industry is one big commercial. They dedicate endless resources to finding the “perfect taste”, the “perfect flavor”, the “perfect texture”. They make foods that cause physical dependency in the body. This dependency makes us never feel satisfied.
The food industry wins and you lose everything…except for weight.
6. After eating Burger King or McDonald’s, you’ll never say “I feel great!”
Processed food is calling you, but…do you listen? Do you feel good after eating fast food? Are you full of energy after eating a pizza? I don’t think so.
The fact that so many people feel lethargic, withdrawn, or even depressed after eating processed food, is one way that the body is telling you that eating those foods is neither good, nor healthy for you.
Listen to your body, it is wise!! Eating live foods, or those that have been minimally processed, will help you get all of the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients that make you feel good and energetic.
7. When at least 80% of your diet is made up of fresh foods, your health will improve
For some people, going “cold turkey” is the easiest way (if you’re strong willed, of course) to free oneself from this addiction. Other people prefer to slowly eliminate these products from their diet.
Regardless of how you want to start this journey towards better health, always choose organic foods. You will benefit not only from the nutrients in fresh foods, but you will also avoid all the pesticides that non-organic fruits and vegetables are subjected to, or the antibiotics and hormones that are given to animals that are raised on a non-organic farm.
Leave these boxed, bottled and bagged foods behind. And when you get to the point that you have stopped, and notice that at least 80% of your diet is based on fresh foods…you know that you are on the right path to healing your body and improving your health.
- Hong. H, 2016. Modern Industrial Foods and Their Effects on the Human Body. Natural Medicine Journal. April 2016 Vol. 8 Issue 4
- Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th ed. Updated December 2015. Accessed September 29, 2016.
- U.S. National Library of Medicin, 2016. Fast food tips. Accessed October 29, 2018.
About the author