Recently I witnessed a public discussion on Facebook about processed foods. Which sparked me to write this short blog about it.
Some people are very disillusioned about what they think healthy foods are.
I asked 5 different people (privately) on my friends list this question - "Do you think <insert a boxed cereal name here>is a healthy breakfast?"
All 5 people replied "yes".
It's really not their fault for thinking that the answer was yes.
My opinion is no by the way - boxed cereal is really not a "healthy" breakfast at all.
Corporations hire marketing companies that do a great job at selling us on the lure of processed foods.
The word “processed” often causes some confusion, so let me clarify what is meant when they say something is processed...
It's obvious, that most foods people eat are processed in some fashion or another.
Apples and oranges are cut from trees, ground beef or ground bison has been ground in a machine and butter is cream that has been separated from the milk and then it is churned.
But, there is a HUGE difference between mechanical processing and chemical processing.
If it’s a single ingredient food with no added chemicals, no added colors, no added sugars; then it doesn't matter if it’s been ground or put into a canning jar. It’s still real food.
Foods that have been processed and made solely from refined ingredients and artificial substances and chemical enhancers are what is generally known as “chemically processed food.”
Highly processed foods usually contain texturants, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, added things like MSG, aspartame, etc.
If you see this word -- artificial flavors on an ingredients list, it could mean that there are 10 or MORE additional chemicals that are blended in to give it a specific flavor -- and they don't even have to list it on the ingredients label!
The bottom line is most processed foods are loaded with yummy chemicals to hijack the biochemistry in your brain leading to over consumption, loss of control and addiction to the very thing people are calling "food"
Processed food is not food at all, it's but a food-like substance.
Processed foods are usually loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup too. Many studies show that sugar can have devastating effects on your metabolism (1)
It can lead to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, increased levels of cholesterol and increased fat accumulation in the liver and belly, metabolic syndrome, obesity, heart disease and certain types of cancers. (2) (3) (4) (5)
Take a look at this image below - this is a popular processed bar marketed towards weight loss. The first ingredient is a type of modified soy.
What the image below didn't show was that it also contained 14 grams of sugar.
Modified soy can be very UNHEALTHY and may contribute to many hormonal disturbances within the body. It may cause premature puberty in adolescents; which leads to early physical sexual development, breasts in boys and men, and may wreak havoc within the reproduction and endocrine systems.
Did you also know that soy and flax are the most potent phytoestrogens by far? Phytoestrogens are extremely healthy for you -- provided that they are not "chemically" processed.
Raw legumes, seeds, and nuts are considered healthy phytoestrogens.
A healthy functioning man or woman should be able to handle consuming phytoestrogens from time to time. However, women with hormone imbalance issues, as well as people who regularly consume vegetable oils, nuts and soy, would do well to measure the intake of their phytoestrogens. (6)
It is important to your body, your mind, and your health that you fill it with real, nutritiously dense foods. Remember everything in moderation. You have a choice. Make it a choice that counts!
Take care of your body; it's the only place you have to live!
If you have questions or concerns make sure you ask your Health Coach today!
Integrity Health is a franchise company residing in New Hampshire. We specialize in health coaching centers combining fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health. We are also the national purveyors of the EZCOACH Fitness Prescription System licensed by fitness professionals.