If the food is to be called processed, it has to meet the seven following criteria:
– long shelf or freezer life
– stays emulsified
– consistent from batch to batch
– consistent from country to country
– consists of pre-frozen macronutrients
– uses specialized ingredients
You are now aware of what processed food is. Read on and learn what makes it unhealthy.
1. Not enough fiber
Fiber plays a vital role in how we absorb our food. Fiber forms a gelatinous barrier that coats intestinal walls, and this barrier slows the absorption of glucose and fructose into the blood. The problem with processed food is that it has too little fiber.
2. Not enough micronutrients
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. Vitamins C and E are micronutrients, and they act as antioxidants, which helps prevent cellular damage. Processed food contains too few of those much-needed micronutrients.
3. Not enough omega-3 fatty acids
Fish and nuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which our body converts into a compound that has anti-inflammatory properties. Processed food is not a good source of the omega-3 fatty acids because it contains too few of them.
4. Too many emulsifiers
Emulsifiers are compounds which help keep fat and water from separating in foods. The problem is that these compounds act as detergents, and can cause harm to the mucus membrane that protects the intestines. This can lead to intestinal diseases and food allergies.
5. Too many trans fats
Trans fat molecules are different from the other types of fats. Due to this difference, the body can’t break down trans fats. The problem with trans fats is that they end up in a person’s liver and arteries, where they generate damaging free radicals.
Trans fats are a huge problem with processed foods, but the FDA has passed a regulation which should force companies to remove trans fat from their foods.
6. Too many nitrates
We know that people enjoy cured meat, but the problem is that nitrates can be found in cured meat. Our body converts nitrate into nitrosoureas, which has been linked to colon cancer.
7. Too much salt
Salt should never be used in abundance, but processed foods contain more salt than unprocessed foods. Too much salt in a diet can cause problems such as heart disease and hypertension.
We hope that you have learned something by reading this short article and that you will think twice the next time you decide to eat processed foods.