What Is YOUR Process?
We understand... its pretty tempting to grab a microwave burrito to nuke for a minute and you have an instant dinner. Sometimes it’s nice to open a can of soup and warm it on the stove. But did you know that most processed foods are bad for your health? The more processing food undergoes, the worse it is. Why? What are some of the things you should be wary of? Here are just a couple of reasons why you should avoid processed foods.
Processed foods are designed to last a longtime . That seems like a good thing on the surface,but how do food manufacturers make the food last longer than nature can? Well, they add all kinds of things to slowdown food’s natural spoilage. For example, trans fats (such as partially hydrogenated soybean oil) give foods(like crackers) a longer shelf life. But trans fats are thought to increase cholesterol levels.
Manufacturers also use preservatives in food to help it last longer. For example, additives like BHA and BHT slow the rancidity of fats. However, both are thought to increase cancer risk. Also, processed meats often use sodium nitrite to preserve them. Again,though, like other preservatives, nitrates are believed to increase one’s risk of cancer.
Processed foods are designed to taste good . You might think that’s a good thing, but guess again. Food manufacturers know that if you like the taste of their food, you’ll likely come back for more. Their goal is to get your business, and often times, they aren’t concerned about your health. Not only do food manufacturers use a host of flavorings and coloring's (that are just chemicals), they also use other things you don’t necessarily want or need: lots of sodium, lots of sugars (not only table sugar but other things like high fructose corn syrup), and plenty of fat (and not the good kind!). They want your repeat business, so they’ll do whatever they can to encourage you to eat more.
So, knowing processed foods are poor food choices, what can you do instead? This is all advice you’ve heard before, but it works:
- Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Then you’ll be tempted to buy things that are easy but aren’t good for you.
- Shop with a list and don’t stray from it.
- Find good recipes that use whole foods.
- Make extra food and freeze it, so when you don’t feel like cooking, you don’t have to.
If you can avoid processed foods, you’ll be taking great care of your health!