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Article at a Glance

  • Processed foods, by definition, is any food that is not a raw vegetable, fruit, or meat product.
  • Many of the processed foods create the danger of increased risk of cardiovascular related disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cancer.
  • Healthy food creates a positive alternative to processed foods and can provide the nutrients necessary to support healthy functionality of the body’s major systems.

Nutrition is one of the most important factors in achieving quality and longevity. Yet, many individuals lack the knowledge regarding nutrition, and it therefore becomes an area of weakness. Most people instinctively know they can improve their diets, but honestly struggle to identify how to do it. They want to know how to optimize their eating habits, but they want someone else to be responsible. This is another area in which DYW Optimal Health Plan comes to the rescue, and first determine what a new member eats currently, then incrementally help them first consume what they have utilizing moderation and then help them select new food choices based on current likes with improved nutritional value. Over a period of time we help them use up and eliminate the low quality food stuffs as it is replaced with higher quality foods.

While science has come a long way in terms of helping the human population create some level of wellness, there are however, so much science driven to create low cost foods, human health suffers. There is no man made substitute for the nutritional value provided by natural foods. Processed foods create an ability to make food cheap with high profit margins and low nutritional value. Yet, while the food industry continues to churn out processed food products, we continue to see spiraling chronic disease rates linked to poor diet: as in 2016, obesity affected over 93 million U.S. adults [1].

 

Indeed, the dangers of consuming processed food is serious and often people have no idea of the dangers to their bodies. In this segment, we will explore some of the potential impacts of processed foods, along with some natural dietary alternatives. Let us begin with finding out exactly what defines this type of food. You may be shocked with you learn just how much processed food comprises your current dietary makeup.

What Are Processed Foods?

Processed foods are readily available, low in nutrition, and yet calorie-dense. These foods have a decreased ability to promote feelings of fullness. But these foods have an addictive quality that keep people coming back. It’s simple really, they are highly palatable, in no small part, due to their high concentration of excess levels of sugar, as well as sodium and fat.

The word “processed” is a bit vague, so it shouldn’t be much surprise that there is a certain amount of confusion around what is considered processed and what isn’t. While most people think of “junk food” when they think of the term “processed food” but, in reality, it also includes many foods people have perceived as healthy.

All multigrain bread and even whole wheat pasta is, in fact,  processed food. By the strictest definition, any food source that is not a raw food, be it vegetable, fruit, or meat product would be considered processed.

Obviously, in practical terms, it’s important to understand the varying degrees in which foods get processed. Bagged or frozen vegetables and roasted nuts, for instance, are less processed than pre-made meals, such as microwavable dinners. Those fall at the other end of the spectrum, including “Ready-to-eat” foods requiring minimal or no preparation, like cereal, oatmeal, dairy products, and deli meats are also considered processed [2]. The more additives and

processing a food source has, the more harmful it usually is.

FEEL BETTER FAST

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Feel years younger. You’ll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to learn why you’ve struggled to lose the weight you want to; it’s quick, it’s free, and it’s easy.

Thomas R. Schneider, MD, a nationally renowned physician, is both a co-founder and medical director of DYW Optimal Health Plan. Until now, his highly acclaimed approach to living was only available to his private patients. Now for the first time, you too can experience the benefits of his proven symphony approach, helping you lose weight, while feeling years younger, and enjoying more energy.

 
 

Why Are Processed Foods Dangerous?

Processed foods are harmful for a variety of reasons, and often are high in refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are a contributing factor in the increase of cardiovascular related disease by modulating insulin and inflammation from added sugar.

They tend to contribute to obesity more than any other macronutrient, including protein and fats. Many processed foods are exceptionally high in added sugar, which has shown to have a detrimental effect on the metabolism, playing a role in the epidemics of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome [3].  Excess sugar consumption is also strongly linked to obesity and heart disease.

Diets consisting of large amounts of processed foods tend to correspond to added weight gain, leading to the national epidemic of obesity. Processed sugars in particular increase the levels of harmful cholesterol, in addition to fat accumulation in the abdominal cavity and liver [4]. Processed foods are usually high in unhealthy, cheap fats, including vegetable or soybean oil and Omega-6 fatty acids, which can also increase inflammation when ingested in

excess.

Usually it is not a single offending ingredient, but rather a plethora of artificial ingredients found in processed foods that contribute to them being so harmful. Highly processed foods typically contain additives including preservatives, and flavors, all of which are chemicals used for specific purposes. Some food contain additional chemicals that don’t show up on nutrition labels, since manufacturers do not have to disclose what comprises blends, including “artificial flavors,” for instance [5]. There are some foods which contain added synthetic vitamins and minerals (to compensate for the nutritional value lost during processing). There nutrient level pales in comparison to that of whole, unprocessed foods, and they are also low in fiber, which support appetite

regulation will aid in digestion.

 

A particularly alarming fact regarding highly processed foods is that they are even linked to an increased risk of cancer. A 10% increase in the intake of processed foods is associated with an increase of greater than 10% in risk for overall and breast cancer [6].

These ultra-processed foods associated with extra cancer risk include sweet or savory packaged snacks, soda and other sweetened beverages, mass-produced and packaged breads and baked goods, chicken nuggets, fish nuggets, commercialized desserts, and frozen ready meals

 

What is the Alternative to Eating Processed Foods?

For those individuals whose diet consists largely of processed foods will have a learning curve to help eradicate these foods as primary sources from their diet. This is another reason DYW Optimal Health Plan is designed the way it is. Our plan allows for a gradual blending of new additional foods into a person’s meal plan. If the change happens too quickly, it can become overwhelming. Of course these harmful foods can be phased, and the operative word is gradually, by moving away from the most heavily processed foods first until only minimally processed or entirely natural food sources remain.

It’s true that processed foods are indeed highly palatable and designed for the specific purpose of appealing to appetites, there hundreds of natural alternatives, which will provide all the enjoyment, without the negative and dangerous side effects. Natural food sources provide the nutrients one needs to support good health, while allowing the body to begin to recover from unhealthy habits. From trying unique pairings to adding different blends of seasonings, there are many ways to tailor new nutritional whole foods to your own liking. Finding vegetables, healthy fats, and quality meats will help anyone enjoy and replacing processed snacks and meals with these natural food sources can have far-reaching benefits.

 

Eliminate the Dangers of Processed Foods – In Conclusion

Nutrition in America is taken for granted and yet, it is singularly one of the most important factors in promoting good health and achieving a permanent weight loss. Because of the common misconception that we get all the nutrition we need from whatever we eat, many individuals struggle to identify food necessary to optimize eating for real wellness. Processed foods are easy to get, readily available, nutrient-poor but calorie-dense, and yet if all that wasn’t enough bad news, they also have a decreased ability to promote feelings of fullness, as well as having ingredients our bodies doesn’t know how to digest. The reason so many people return to these foods is simple: they taste good and they are so easy to find.

The downside is due to their large concentration of excess sugar, sodium and bad fats. By the strictest definition, any food source that is not a raw vegetable, fruit, or meat would be considered processed.

These processed foods are dangerous in various ways and play a significant role in increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and even cancer 

FEEL BETTER FAST

With DYW Optimal Health Plan

FREE Consultation

DYW Optimal Health Plan takes a proactive and individualized approach to nutrition, unlike other diets which tend to focus on a single factor – changes in eating habit. Take steps now to assure your long term success and; 

Feel years younger. You’ll be more energetic, lose weight, sleep better, have more libido, and think more clearly. Click below to learn why you’ve struggled to lose the weight you want to; it’s quick, it’s free, and it’s easy.

Thomas R. Schneider, MD, a nationally renowned physician, is both a co-founder and medical director of DYW Optimal Health Plan. Until now, his highly acclaimed approach to living was only available to his private patients. Now for the first time, you too can experience the benefits of his proven symphony approach, helping you lose weight, while feeling years younger, and enjoying more energy.

 
 

Understanding the Dangers of Processed Food Sources

[1] “Adult Obesity Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Retrieved from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

[2] “What is a Processed Food? You Might Be Surprised!”  International Food Information Council Foundation. Sept. 2010.

Retrieved from URL: https://www.foodinsight.org/sites/default/files/what-is-a-processed-food.pdf

[3] Stanhope et al. “Adverse metabolic effects of dietary fructose: results from the recent epidemiological, clinical, and mechanistic studies.” Current Opinion in Lipidology. June 2013. 

Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23594708

[4] Stanhope et al. “Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose- sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans.” Journal of Clinical Investigation. 1 May 2009. 

Retrieved from URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2673878/

[5] Gunnars, Kris. “Nine ways that processed foods are harming people.” Medical News Today.  01 August 2017. 

Retrieved from URL: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318630.php

[6] Fiolet et al. Consumption of ultra-processed foods and cancer risk: results from NitriNet-Santé. Prospective cohort.” 14 Feb. 2018.

Retrieved from URL: https://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k322