Silent Killers in Your Food: The Dangers of Processed Foods

We've all heard about processed foods and how they're really bad for our health. But what most people are not aware of is that there are practically hundreds if not thousands of various types of processed foods that are hidden under obscure names. When they hear the term "processed foods" what immediately comes to mind for most people is fries and burger at a fast food joint. Yes, they're partly right but if they'd just have a look at their cabinet at home they'd discover that at least 80 to 90 percent of what they have there can be considered processed food.

How to Identify Processed Foods

How can we tell if whether it's processed food? Generally, if the food is canned, bagged, jarred, boxed then it's processed.

There are several food processing methods and they include:

- Canning,
- Dehydration,
- Refrigeration,
- Freezing, and
- Aseptic processing.

Processed foods have been chemically altered foods so they can have longer shelf life. What it all comes down to is that processed foods are more convenient to use. The thing is your cake mix, pancake mix and all other mixes where all you need to do is add water and get instant food are actually doing harm to your body.

The problem is most Americans don't even know that approximately 90 percent of their food purchases are on processed foods.

Trans Fat Kills

Trans fats are vegetable oils that have been chemically modified. To produce them they have to go through a chemical process called hydrogenation. This transforms liquid oil into solid fat.

Trans fats are used in ready meals, cookies and sweets. In fact, they're found in almost all types of processed foods. The reason why food manufacturers use trans fats is that they make food manufacturing cheap, which translates to huge profits for these companies and expensive hospital bills for consumers. Trans fats also add bulk and give products a long shelf life. However, they have zero nutritional value.

The process of hydrogenation infuses trans fats with hydrogen. In this altered state, they decrease good cholesterol and increase bad cholesterol.

Trans fats are slow killers. They embed themselves between cells and act like plastic and insulate our cells so that they cannot communicate with each other. This upsets our hormones and is followed by rapid weight gain, increased risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and infertility.

You're not going to see it written as "trans fat" in commercially fried and packaged foods. But, you should look out for the term hydrogenated. It means the product contains trans fat. The sad thing about all this is that the FDA has allowed products containing half a gram of trans fat per serving to be marketed as trans fat free. This means we can't really trust these labels.

Healthy, Natural, and Nutrient-Rich Foods

What must one do to avoid the evils of processed foods? We must go back to the basics and focus on healthy natural foods. There are so many versions of natural diet. One example is the Mediterranean diet plan. Other natural food based diets include traditional Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Thai diets. Easy Diet Plans for Women and other weight loss meal plans based on the traditional diet of Asia have been shown to reverse the effects of aging, reduce body fat, improve the condition of the cardiovascular system, fight cancer and detoxify the body.

by Edward Dy

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