What is processed food?

Everywhere you turn and everything you read about food and diet is different and confusing. Eat more eggs, no don’t eat too many eggs. Eat often, don’t eat. Fat is good, fat is bad. High protein, low carb, the list goes on and on. For a long time I felt like a diet guinea pig as I kept chopping and changing my eating habits.

I’ve come to a conclusion that sometimes less is more and consuming real food is best. Real food is unprocessed and uncomplicated. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine what our ancestors ate before there were supermarkets and online shopping – that’s what real food is. Food that is created in a lab, the product of a chemist wearing a lab coat, is NOT real.

Foods labelled as low-fat, low-sugar or low-sodium are not real food. Some of these so called ‘healthy options’ contain additives such as trans fat and hydrogenated oils. This stuff is really, really bad for you!

processed foodMost trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature, basically it’s oil injected with metal. The molecular structure of the oil in this new state has a closer resemblance to plastic than oil. (Enig, 2000) Your poor body has to try to process this almost-plastic substance through its bloodstream. This partially hydrogenated oil is less likely to spoil, so foods made with it have a longer shelf life. Some restaurants use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in their deep fryers, because it doesn’t have to be changed as often as do other oils. It’s no wonder why trans fat causes all sorts of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, clogs your arteries and lowers your good cholesterol (HDL). Feeding the body processed food won’t necessarily cause terminal disease now, but what about in 20 or 30 years?

Some popular foods that contain this synthetic additive are canned soups, frozen meals, potato chips, dips, popcorn, crackers and foods that require deep frying.

When you check the food label for trans fat, also check the food’s ingredient list for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil — which indicates that the food contains some trans fat.

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My philosophy on reading food labels is if you don’t know what something is chances are it’s probably not real food and it’s bad for your gut.

Cherish and look after the body you were given. Read food labels, eat whole food and avoid processed products even if they claim they are ‘healthy’, if you can’t grow it chances are it’s not real!

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