Do you regularly munch on chips? Are you always in for packaged foods? Well, they may indeed seem tempting, but little does one know about the harmful effects of packaged food items. It is universally acceptable fact that processed foods are easily available and save a lot of time. But there are many dangers of processed foods, which can harm you in the long run. Going by facts, packaged and processed foods are thought to be the main reason that makes you sick. Hence, it becomes necessary to know how processed foods affect health and why you should keep them at bay.
Why are processed foods bad?
Processed foods directly and negatively affect your health. The risk of diseases caused by processed foods is huge. Here are the 9 reasons processed foods make you sick.
High in Sugar
Processed foods are loaded with sugar or high fructose corn syrup and similar other sweeteners. While they make such foods taste awesome, they have truly harmful effects on your body. Studies have shown that sugar and syrups contain empty calories, which when consumed in excess, can severely affect your metabolism. This can not only affect your weight but also increase the risk of heart diseases and diabetes.
Artificial colours, flavours, food additives and preservatives are used in processed foods to make them attractive and ensure they last for a specific period. However, such artificial substances and chemicals can harm your health in many ways. While they can cause allergic reactions, these substances can produce toxins in the body. This can increase the risk of obesity, heart diseases, digestive problems and other illnesses.
High Refined Carbs
Most processed foods are made from highly refined flours, which is basically simple carbohydrates. Simple carbs are known to cause sudden spikes in blood sugar level and also increases lipids and triglycerides. If continued for long, they can affect insulin levels and increase risk of diabetes and cholesterol problems.
High in Trans fats
Another important point in the list of harmful effects of packaged food items is that they are high in trans-fats. Processed foods are prepared in vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats. These are unhealthy fats, which can severely increase the risk of heart diseases.
Low in Nutrients
While processed foods just taste nice, one of the dangers of processed foods is that they have very little nutritional value. They are very low in key nutrients, which you would normally get from fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Most of the ingredients used in processed foods tend to cause inflammation in the body. Increased inflammation can affect the skin, cause acne, worsen arthritis, gastric troubles, autoimmune conditions and increase the risk of many other diseases including cancer.
Low in Fibre
Fibre provides various health benefits and has earned a special place in the present day health conscious society. However, processed foods are very low in fibre and hence do not offer any health benefit. After eating processed foods, your sugar levels rapidly vary and you tend to be hungry more often. Also it does not give you a feeling of fullness or ease in digestion, which normally fibre-rich foods do.
Processed foods are usually digested quickly, without any nutritive value. When you eat such foods, you take in more calories and as they take less time to digest, you burn very few calories. Thus, eating processed foods for long can negatively affect your metabolism and the way you burn calories. Whole grain foods are good as they help to burn more calories and keep you fit. Processed foods slow down your metabolism, making you overweight and lethargic.
Processed foods create an imbalance of the brain. They trigger a “feel good” factor. You tend to eat more of such foods to satisfy your taste buds. They do not make you feel full and you unknowingly start craving for more. Another way it controls your mind is that most of the packaged food items like chips, colas, etc. are often sold with attractive offers, gifts, and combos to lure you to eat more often.
Processed foods create an imbalance of your brain. They trigger a “feel good” factor. You tend to eat more of such foods to satisfy your taste buds. They do not make you feel full and you unknowingly start craving for more. Another way it controls your mind is that most of the packaged food items like chips, colas, etc. are often sold with attractive offers, gifts, and combos to lure you to eat more often.
Well now that you know the dangers of processed foods, you would surely not want to indulge in them. Planning a healthy diet, preferably with home-made fresh food is definitely a better option. If time is a constraint, you can choose fresh fruits, vegetables and dry fruits as healthy snacks while on the go.
So, the next time you see a packet of chips, keep in mind these risks. Make healthy food choices; keep diseases at bay!
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