processed-foods
processed-foods
processed-foods

WHY SHOULDN’T PROCESSED FOODS BE IN OUR DAILY DIET?

Jan 2, 2024

Nutrition

Processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats have invaded stores and markets at a rapid pace. These chemicals are added to natural foods to make them tastier and prolong their shelf-life.

Unfortunately, they can be devastating for your body because they interfere with several biochemical reactions and act as toxins. The reason it’s difficult to stop consuming these products resides within their addictive properties that stimulate the brain’s pleasure center (i.e. nucleus accumbens), making you want more! These harmful substances may also lead to debilitating medical conditions over time, including a wide range of cancers, specifically colorectal cancer.

Like any addiction, there is no magical way to stop consuming processed foods… The best way is to gradually stop buying them while switching to whole foods in the process. For example: instead of buying canned tuna, it’s better to get fresh fish and cook it yourself at home because you’ll avoid being exposed to all the harmful toxins and learn to enjoy making your own meals.

Oxidative stress and processed foods

The cells in our bodies stock compounds known as reactive oxygen species or free radicals. While these compounds are used to destroy the components of foreign pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.), these reactive oxygen species have one major flaw: the inability to distinguish between foreign pathogens and self-tissues. As a safety net, the cells stock antioxidants (intrinsic and dietary) to maintain balance.

Unfortunately, this process is not perfect, as the number of free radicals often exceeds that of antioxidants, leading to a metabolic state known as oxidative stress. This pathological process predisposes people to premature aging, as well as a wide range of maladies. Oxidative stress is significantly higher in individuals who consume large amounts of processed foods, which is another reason to cut them from your diet.

Processed foods are extremely damaging to the human body and should be avoided. Not only do whole foods carry more nutritional values, they also provide several other health benefits.

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