Processed Foods: Products to Be Avoid

Before starting talking about processed foods, let me tell you about my day:

Life is amazing, don’t you think? My car is in the shop having some suspension problem, and as I was talking my amazing car mechanic Charlie today chatting about our lives, I told him that (that every second I’m better than before. He noted that he likes how optimistic I am,   but I protested him that I’m not optimistic—my statements reflected my reality. I enjoy all of life, even the hard times.   This is why life is amazing to me.  As I told Charlie of my thoughts today, I thought of all you members and wish you a great day.

Now let’s get to the subject of this newsletter. If you having following me for a couple of months, you know that I’m writing a book about weight loss. I have discovered many factors that contribute the American obesity epidemic. However, to bolster my views, I felt I needed to research even more.  Poking through the international and college databases such as EBSCO, I found out about some interesting research done in Brazil which in no uncertain terms demonstrates the BIG contribution that processed foods make to obesity. Let me give you some details:

For the study, food was classified into three groups according to the nature and extent, of the industrial processing used in its manufacture.

1)      The first group was fresh or minimally processed foods, such as grains, cereals, roots, legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seed, meats, fish, poultry and eggs, milk and natural yogurt.

2)      The second group included processed ingredients that we use to prepare food at home, which generally are extracted from whole foods. Examples are flours and starches, oils and sugars and salt.

3)       The third group of foods were two kinds of ready-to-consume products:

  • Processed foods made from foods with the addition of substances such as salt, sugar or oil and the use of processes such as smoking or curing. Examples include pickled canned or bottled vegetables and legumes; fruit preserved with sugar; canned fish preserved in oil or salted and smoked; salted and smoked meats and cheese.
  • Ultra-processed foods are those formulated predominantly or entirely from industrial ingredients and typically contain little or no whole foods. They often have preservatives and cosmetic and other additives and may also contain synthetic vitamins and pack minerals. Examples include cake mixes, energy bars, instant packaged soups and noodles; many types of sweetened breads,, cakes, biscuits, pastries and desserts; potato or corn chips and other types of sweet, fatty, or salty snack products; sugared milk and fruit drinks, soft drinks and energy drinks; pre-pre-prepared meats, fish, vegetable or cheese dishes, pizza and pasta dishes, burgers, French fries, poultry and fish nuggets or sticks; bread and other cereal products; sausage, hot dogs, and other products made with scraps or remnants of meat; preserves chocolates, cookies, biscuits, candies; margarines. Also included are canned or dehydrated soups and infant formulas, and baby products

The average daily calorie intake was 1581, but as people increased their food consumption from 15% to 40% of processed and ultra-processed food, their excess weight and obesity also increased from 34.1% to 43.9%. That is more than 10% of a possibility of being overweight.

Ultra-processed foods dominate food supplies of many developed countries, and production and consumption of these products is now rapidly increasing in middle income countries and settings. The reality is that these foods have become promiscuous and getting to be in the reach of almost everyone. They are tempting for two reasons: they are cheap and tasty. In addition, they are convenient and “save” people time. But there is nothing good about them in the long run and they don’t “save” anything. They ruin health and in the end take quality time away from those foolish enough to eat them.

Of course I admit that that processed food is only one factor of obesity; other factors include a sedentary lifestyle, overeating, lack of exercise, some medications, and stress. . When people start acknowledging all these factors and rethink their lifestyles, magic and transformation happen.  The result is a healthier body and lifestyle.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed hearing about this research. Another reason why  you should do your best to cook at home, by whole, fresh foods, and organic foods and stop consuming any processed foods that negatively affects your health.

Below is the reference if you would like to know more about this study:

Canella, Daniela Silva, et al. “Ultra Processed Foods Products and Obesity in Brazilian Households (2008–2009).” Plos ONE 9.3 (2014): 1-6. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 May 2014.

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