When it comes to eating for healthy body, processed foods are generally viewed as bad options. However, many people often only think of them as fattening foods, with their high amounts of fat and sugar. While it is definitely difficult to not eating such foods nowadays, we definitely eat more than we should. Unfortunately, while obesity and diabetes seems like obvious results of eating processed foods, there are still many more dangers in eating these foods that some of us are probably unaware of.
Negative Effects of Eating Processed Foods
Processed foods and health are not exactly hand in hand, thanks to high amount of salt, sugar, trans-fat, preservatives and additives added during the process. These ingredients, combined with lack of nutritious foods, can cause various physical and even mental ailments. Here are some negative effects of eating too many processed food products beside obesity and diabetes:
• Cardiovascular disease.
Consumption of too many processed foods, especially those with high sugar, fat and sodium contents, can cause metabolic syndrome and cholesterol buildup, which are risk factors in various cardiovascular conditions. These later lead into various cardiovascular conditions, which are higher in prevalence when you grow older.
• Crohn’s disease.
This is another name of inflammatory bowel disease, which can happen if you consume too many chemical additives in processed foods, especially emulsifiers. Emulsifiers are commonly found in various products such as ice cream, cake mix, bottled sauces, pudding, processed cheese, peanut butter, bottled dressings, and white bread slices. Eating too many emulsifiers will cause the mucus layer in your intestine walls to break down. Microbes later make contact with intestinal walls and cause inflammation in the bowel.
• Colon cancer.
Colon cancer risk is higher on people who eat too many processed or canned meat, or meat products that are treated with preservatives, such as lunch meat, hot dogs, beef jerky, bacons, and sausages. Eating as much as 50 grams of processed meat in a day can increase colon cancer risk factor for 20 percents. The carcinogenic enters your body from the chemical preservatives.
• Autoimmune disease.
Processed foods contain additives that can compromise your gut environment, which makes your digestive system more vulnerable toward attacks from toxins and bacteria. This can increase risks of various autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis, Lupus, and Type 1 Diabetes. In fact, eating too many processed foods will make you more prone to cold, flu, cold sore, and other small but annoying autoimmune conditions.
Besides physical conditions, eating too many processed foods can also wreak havoc on your psychological conditions. Unbalanced diets that are lack of healthy foods can mess up with your body’s ability to produce serotonin, a hormone that is commonly known as mood stabilizer. If the process is disrupted, it can cause mood swings, anxiety, and even depression in a long run.
In the end, while we may not be able to avoid processed foods, we should consider the risks and control the intake as best as we can, and consuming more natural foods to achieve better health state.