Are food additives and artificial ingredients real food?
Many times an ingredient list of processed foods reads like some kind of chemistry class lecture. It contains ingredients that nobody can pronounce and added junk that the body doesn’t need.
Think about it, in order for Twinkies and chips to have any kind of shelf life a preservative has to be used. Then comes the artificial flavor, because unless the food is whole —and there are no Twinkies in nature— it has to get its flavor from somewhere, right?
Here Are Just A Few Of The Added Ingredients In Processed Foods:
- Coloring chemicals that give food a certain color.
- Preservatives to extend shelf life.
- Artificial flavoring chemicals to add a certain flavor or a blend of flavors that can include a mix of many chemicals.
- Texturant chemicals that provide a certain type of texture.
Highly processed food contain extras we’d rather do without.
Processed Foods Typically Contain High Amounts Of Unhealthy Fats
One of the biggest problems is the inclusion of hydrogenated fats, like refined seed and vegetable oil in processed foods that makes them trans fats, the worst type of fat for the human body as it is a major culprit in increased risks for heart disease and high cholesterol.
On the flip side, healthy real fats, like butter, olive oil and coconut oil provide the body much needed healthy fats and are considered whole versus their evil processed brethren.
High sugar and high fructose corn syrup content
Sugar is highly addictive, it wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels and is an empty calorie food. When consumed in excess it can cause feelings of euphoria that mimic illegal drugs and so we become dependent on that high and over indulge.
The empty calories from sugar also greatly contribute to weight gain and obesity because many studies have shown that sugar also wreaks havoc on metabolism.
Too much sugar can eventually lead to insulin resistance, high cholesterol and also increased fat accumulation in the liver and the belly and can lead to heart disease, and Type 2 Diabetes.
Overindulgence and Addiction
Processed foods stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain and so we over eat them.
This is because they are engineered to be rewarding to the brain and bring us pleasure, versus natural whole foods that are intended for sustenance.
Once we are hooked on these foods as a result of their hyper-rewarding nature we crave them, need them and our appetites gravitate towards the sweet, fatty and salty concoctions that hold very little nutritional value.
Food addiction is a serious condition and can really have horrendous effects on people’s health. Unfortunately no one becomes addicted to lettuce or apples. Food addiction always revolves around junk food, sweets and unhealthy fatty and salty foods because these foods activate pleasure and reward centers in the brain just like heroin and cocaine.
Processed foods typically tend to overpower any food source found in nature, but, one can always realign their habits and change their tastes.
Lack of Nutrients
We all know that lowering and regulating our caloric intake is the best way to healthy weight management, but not all calories are the same.
Kale, chicken breasts and apples are all nutrient dense whole foods that provide a wallop of nutrition calorie for calorie. When we eat them our bodies use the nutrients to thrive and boost our health.
They lack macronutrients like protein, healthy fats and complex carbs, and they also lack micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber.
And, as of yet, there is no way to mimic that in a lab.
Reduced Thermic Effect of Food
The Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) is a term that measures the energy expenditure (metabolism) after eating particular foods, specifically it totals approximately 10% of the metabolic rate in the average person.
According to a study published on Food & Nutrition Research in 2010, the metabolic rate of 17 men and women was compared after they ate a processed meal and a whole food meal. Those who had a multi grain bread cheddar cheese sandwich burned twice as many calories as those who ate a white bread American cheese sandwich.
So, it seems that whole foods are burned more efficiently by the body, which supports the healthy weight management concept of calories in and calories out.
The Wholefood Lifestyle, Clean Eating Series
- Boost Your Health To New Heights – Clean Eating, Part 1
- YOU ARE HERE:What Are Processed Foods? – Clean Eating, Part 2
- (To be continued)