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You first struggle throughout your life to earn money. You sacrifice your golden youth, families, peace of mind and our present to gather fortune.
Then in order to celebrate the success or have earned a fortune, you visit a restaurant to enjoy Junk Food.
The food which, if prepared at home, will cost not more than $1, but at a restaurant, without blinking our eyes we spend almost $ 10-15 to order the same snacks.
But do you have answers to the following questions?
1. What is Processed Food?
2. How processed food is prepared?
3. How does processed food impact our body and resultant life?
4. What is the future of people who consume processed food as a basic requirement of life?
Processed or “Killer” Foods
Processed foods are altered in some way during preparation to make them more convenient, shelf-stable, and/or flavorful for consumers.
It’s important to remember that the processed foods discussed here are chemically processed in addition to being mechanically processed. The aim of processed food is not to provide body nutrition but just to kick the taste buds.
Example. If apples are peeled, cored, and cooked to make apple sauce, it’s considered to be mechanically processed and would count as a healthy option.
But if sugar and artificial flavors and/or colors are added to the apple sauce, it would be considered chemically processed.
Minimally vs Heavily Processed. Processed foods can also be further broken into minimally processed and heavily processed. Minimally processed foods are often washed, peeled and/or cut for conveniences, such as bagged salads and pre-cut vegetables.
Canned vegetables and fruits, frozen vegetables and fruits, and canned fish and seafood fall somewhere in between, while foods containing multiple ingredients to enhance their flavor, texture, and stability would be considered heavily processed.
Artificial Ingredients or Chemicals. If you’re looking at the label on a box of your favorite junk food, there’s probably a bunch of ingredients that you can barely pronounce.
If that’s the case, your cookies are packed with artificial preservatives, colorants, and flavorings that could be negatively affecting your health, even if it’s been deemed as safe by the FDA.
Some of these ingredients have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, blood clots, and obesity, while others may aggravate ADHD symptoms in children.
High in Carbs and Low in Nutrients and Fiber. Not all carbs are bad, but processed foods are often packed with refined carbs, which can cause your blood sugar to spike too quickly, thus leading to a drop a few hours later that will make you feel even hungrier.
And on top of that, processed foods often lose their nutrients during processing, so synthetic nutrients are added in, which aren’t as effective. The fiber is often stripped away as well, which your body needs to properly digest food.
Restaurants may also compound the calorie-counting issue. In one study, people eating at restaurants they associated as “healthy” still underestimated the number of calories in their meal by 20 percent.
Sodium. The combination of fat, sugar, and lots of sodium (salt) can make fast food tastier for some people. But diets high in sodium can lead to water retention, which is why you may feel puffy, bloated, or swollen after eating fast food. A diet high in sodium is also dangerous for people with blood pressure conditions. Sodium can elevate blood pressure and put stress on your heart and cardiovascular system.
Trans fats are the worst type of fat one can eat. Unlike dietary fats that are found in a variety of plant-based foods and oils, trans fats raise to increase your LDL (bad cholesterol), lower your HDL (good cholesterol).
No amount of trans fat is good or healthy.
Also known as trans-fatty acids, this type of fat is found naturally in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals.
Artificial Trans Fats. These are produced in an industrial food processing method called partial hydrogenation, which involves adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
Trans fat is manufactured fat created during food processing. It’s commonly found in:
Heart disease. Studies have found that trans fats significantly increase your risk of heart disease by raising bad cholesterol. However, this type of fat does not increase your good cholesterol.
Type 2 diabetes. Eating trans fats is linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, although the link between trans fats and diabetes risks is not completely clear.
But trans fats may cause insulin resistance and drive type 2 diabetes.
Belly fat. Consuming lots of trans fats can give you a potbelly.
Trans fats increase the amount of fat around the belly.
This means not only trans-fats make you fatter but can move fat from other regions to the belly, leading to abdominal obesity. Inflammation. Trans fats have been shown to increase inflammation, especially in people who are overweight or obese, in both clinical trials and observational studies.
It may be noted that chronic inflammation has been associated with certain diseases, including heart disease, stroke, autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Cancer. While intake of trans fats before menopause was linked to an increased risk of breast cancer after menopause in the Nurses’ Health Study, there is weak and inconsistent evidence for a relationship between trans-FA and cancer risk.
But trans fats are found in the high-calorie, fatty baked goods and other foods that can cause belly fat, which is a risk factor for cancer.
While an occasional night of fast food won’t hurt, a habit of eating out could be doing a number on your health. Read on to learn the effects of fast food on your body.
Courtesy: Perchemistgroup Twitter
Digestive and Cardiovascular Systems. Most fast food, including drinks and sides, are loaded with carbohydrates with little to no fiber.
When your digestive system breaks down these foods, the carbs are released as glucose (sugar) into your bloodstream. As a result, your blood sugar increases.
Your pancreas responds to the surge in glucose by releasing insulin.
Insulin transports sugar throughout your body to cells that need it for energy.
As your body uses or stores the sugar, your blood sugar returns to normal.
Respiratory System. Excess calories from fast-food meals can cause weight gain.
This may lead to obesity.
Obesity increases your risk of respiratory problems, including asthma and shortness of breath.
The extra pounds can put pressure on your heart and lungs and symptoms may show up even with little exertion.
You may notice difficulty breathing when you’re walking, climbing stairs, or exercising.
For children, the risk of respiratory problems is especially clear.
One study found that children who eat fast food at least three times a week are more likely to develop asthma.
Central Nervous System. Fast food may satisfy the hunger in the short term, but long-term results are less positive.
People who eat fast food and processed pastries are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than people who don’t eat those foods or eat very few of them.
Reproductive System. The ingredients in junk food and fast food may have an impact on your fertility.
One study found that processed food contains phthalates.
Phthalates are chemicals that can interrupt how hormones act in your body.
Exposure to high levels of these chemicals could lead to reproductive issues, including birth defects.
Integumentary System (skin, hair, nails). The foods you eat may impact your skin’s appearance, but it might not be the foods you suspect.
In the past, chocolate and greasy foods like pizza have taken the blame for acne breakouts, but according to the Mayo Clinic, it’s carbohydrates.
Carb-rich foods lead to blood sugar spikes, and these sudden jumps in blood sugar levels may trigger acne.
Children and adolescents who eat fast food at least three times a week are also more likely to develop eczema, according to one study.
Eczema is a skin condition that causes irritated patches of inflamed, itchy skin.
Skeletal System (Bones). Carbs and sugar in fast food and processed food can increase acids in your mouth.
These acids can break down tooth enamel.
As tooth enamel disappears, bacteria can take hold, and cavities may develop.
Obesity. Obesity can also lead to complications with bone density and muscle mass. People who are obese have a greater risk of falling and breaking bones.
It’s important to keep exercising to build muscles, which support your bones, and maintain a healthy diet to minimize bone loss.
This blood sugar process is highly regulated by your body, and as long as you’re healthy, your organs can properly handle these sugar spikes.
But frequently eating high amounts of carbs can lead to repeated spikes in your blood sugar.
Over time, these insulin spikes may cause your body’s normal insulin response to faltering.
This increases your risk for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain.
Designed to make you Overeat and Addicted. Studies show that the “reward system” in our brain can sometimes allow us to consume more of our favorite foods than our bodies actually need.
Processed food manufacturers, according to Medical News Today, know this lucrative fact, so they purposely include ingredients—most commonly sugar, salt, and fat—that make their products highly rewarding to us.
These ingredients lead us to overeat—and then buy some more.
Today, more than 2 in 3 adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese.
More than one-third of children ages 6 to 19 are also considered overweight or obese.
The growth of fast food in America seems to coincide with the growth of obesity in the United States.
The number of fast-food restaurants in America has doubled since 1970. The number of obese Americans has also more than doubled.
Despite efforts to raise awareness and make Americans smarter consumers, one study found that the amount of calories, fat, and sodium in fast-food meals remains largely unchanged.As Americans get busier and eat out more frequently, it could have adverse effects on the individual and America’s healthcare system.
When we attain the age of 40+ years, then the adverse impact of processed food enjoyed till then start showing its symptoms in the form of diseases mentioned above.
Once you contract chronic diseases like Diabetes and High BP, then you can be assured that these diseases will follow you till your death bed, like the second spouse.
Also, to manage these diseases, one has to bust the fortune accumulated until then.
Yours and your family’s life will be hell. Your daily routine will get converted into a proper routine for consuming those medicines.
Morning, afternoon, evening, before meals, after meals, before sleep.
The routine will vary but the resultant will remain the same.
The Good News about (few) Processed Foods
As we mentioned earlier, not all processed foods are unhealthy.
Foods that are minimally and/or mechanically processed can be a part of a healthy balanced diet because they contain little to no added sugars and/or chemicals. It’s important to read the ingredient labels to check the sugar and sodium content.
The following processed foods can be healthy for you:
Frozen veggies and fruits. Because they’re minimally processed, they retain most of their nutrients.
Canned beans. They’re rich in fiber, protein, and iron. Plus, they’re low in fat and cost.
Yogurt. It’s a great source of calcium, protein, vitamins, and probiotics. Steer clear of the flavored varieties, and add fresh fruit and a little honey for sweetness.
Packaged Nuts and Nut Butters. They’re a great source of fiber and protein, but watch out for added sugar, salt, and trans fats.
Popcorn. Minus the melted butter and extra salt, popcorn is a healthy way to get some whole grains into your diet.
Jarred and Canned Tomatoes. Minimally processed tomatoes actually contain more cancer-fighting lycopene than fresh ones. Just watch out for the added sugar and salt. For more information, check out 6 Health Benefits of Tomatoes.
Whole-grain Bread, Crackers and Pasta. Whole grains can improve your cholesterol levels, blood sugar regulation, digestion, immunity, and more. For more information, check out What Are Whole Grains? 6 Tips for Replacing Refined Grains With Nutritious Alternatives.
Bottled Water and Seltzer. It’s the healthiest way to hydrate!
Courtesy – Youtube
If you wish to lead a good life than you have to choose healthy food and lifestyle. At least you will die a peaceful and respectful life.
If you wish to die as a chronic patient, who busted life’s savings in self-treatment for various lifestyle diseases then please go ahead and consume as much as processed or killer food as possible.
Also, you will have a good reason to curse God for all your miseries.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only.
It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion.
Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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