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11 Reasons to Ditch Processed Foods

Monday, March 25, 2013

I usually don't 'copy and paste' a whole lot...and especially not a whole article.....but this one is important to me....and hopefully to you......I have been 'eating clean' about 90% of the time and for at least 2yrs now...and along the way i am starting to learn more and more about 'processed Food' and its dangers.......

Hidden Kidney Killers

The Facts: Flavored noodle mixes, processed meats, packaged mac and cheese, soda, frozen dinners, other processed foods, and fast food are notorious for containing questionable levels of phosphate-laden ingredients that could promote kidney deterioration and weaker bones.

emoticon Healthy Tip: If you’re in a pinch and do reach for processed foods, avoid ones with ingredients like “sodium phosphate,” “calcium phosphate,” and “phosphoric acid,” or anything with “phos-” in the word.

Cereal Crimes?

The Facts: Breakfast bombshell: Residues of more than 70 pesticides have been found in individual boxes of cereal. Why? Many pesticides today, particularly the go-to chemical applied to genetically engineered crops, are systemic. That means the chemicals wind up inside of the food you’re eating.

emoticon Healthy Tip: Beware of “natural” cereals. Testing by the Cornucopia Institute found that “natural” cereals are often contaminated with crop pesticides, warehouse fumigation chemicals, and genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). Choose organic if you truly want to avoid toxic chemicals in your food.

Shorter Lifespan

The Facts: Letting your kitchen go dormant in favor of relying on processed foods could shave years off of your life. A 2012 study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that people who cooked at home at least five times a week were 47 more likely to be alive after 10 years than the people who relied more on processed foods.

emoticon Healthy Tip: To get your feet wet cooking fresh, seasonal ingredients, consider joining a vegetable community-supported agriculture program. Farmers often share recipes, cooking tips, and sometimes even hold cooking demonstrations to teach you the healthiest ways to prep the food they grow. Try a half share if you’re afraid you won’t have enough time to cook a larger share of the bounty.

Accelerated Aging

The Facts: Your face could start resembling crinkle-cut chips if you turn to munching processed foods on a regular basis. Research shows both the phosphates and the genetically engineered ingredients often added to processed foods promote aging.

emoticon Healthy Tip: Instead of processed foods, choose fare that actually promotes younger-looking skin, including alkaline-forming foods like kale, parsley, almonds, pears, and lemons. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as pastured eggs, wild-caught Alaskan salmon, and walnuts, also help hydrate your skin, reducing wrinkles. Tomatoes help fight damaging sunburns, reduce skin roughness, and boost collagen.

Your Wallet

The Facts: Processed foods may seem like a deal in terms of convenience, but when you break down the cost, it’s generally cheaper—and way healthier—to make those same foods from scratch. For instance, a popular brand’s microwave bowl of chili costs $3.39 and includes harmful bisphenol A, fake food dye, and industrial meat raised using antibiotics, as well as other questionable additives.

emoticon Healthy Tip: You can whip up a batch of gourmet, 100-percent-organic chili from scratch using fresh ingredients, including omega-3-rich, heart-healthy grass-fed beef, for about $2.86 per serving. Cheaper, tastier, organic, and healthier!

Relentless Hunger

The Facts: Added sugars, specifically fructose from table sugar and the high-fructose corn syrup found in most processed foods, block the hormonal signal that tells your brain it’s time to stop eating, according to obesity research by Robert Lustig, MD, a pediatric neuroendocrinologist at the University of California - San Francisco. The result? Never-ending hunger that leaves you fatter yet feeling unsatisfied.

emoticon Healthy Tip: According to the American Heart Association, we down about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day; that’s about 25 pounds more than people consumed annually just a few decades ago. Watch out for surprising hidden sources of added sugars, such as bread, crackers, bottled tea, frozen dinners, and sauces and marinades.

Low-Fat Fraud

The Facts: Since the low-fat fad began, Americans have become fatter and sicker. One reason? Low-fat dairy products are stripped of conjugated linoleic acid, a healthy fat shown to fight weight gain and cancer. Added sugar often takes the place of fat, making you feel hungry and unsatisfied.

emoticon Healthy Tip: Know your fats. Industrial fats like partially hydrogenated oils are dangerous, but fat from organic, grass-fed animal products like yogurt actually benefit your heart and brain.

Colorful Lies

The Facts: Processed foods—even pickles, cake mixes, and “healthy” juices—often contain food dyes that make food appear fresher than it really is, in essence, tricking you, the consumer. Some berry juices contain 0 percent fruit juice, relying solely on artificial coloring. The problem? Some food dyes are tied to serious health problems like ADHD, asthma, allergies, and cancer.

emoticon Healthy Tip: Stick with organic foods, since organic standards ban the use of artificial food dyes, so organics are colored with food sources like turmeric and beets. Better yet, try your hand at making your own homemade pickles and other kitchen staples to avoid harmful additives.

Junky Tendencies

The Facts: Added sugar is the not-so-sweet trick the makers of processed foods use to get you hooked. In 2005, Princeton researchers found that eating sugar triggers the release of opioids, neurotransmitters that light up your brain’s pleasure center. Addictive drugs like morphine and heroin stimulate those same pleasure pathways. Scary fact? After 21 days on a high-sugar diet, you could start showing signs of withdrawal—chattering teeth, anxiety, and depression—when sugar is taken away.

emoticon Healthy Tip: Don’t replace a healthy breakfast like low-sugar organic oatmeal with a sugary coffee drink.

Airway Assault

The Facts: Kids who eat fast food two to three times a week face a significantly higher risk of developing asthma, possibly due to the processed foods’ ability to create inflammation in the body. The trans fats and sugar common in fast-food menu items trigger inflammation, an unhealthy condition tied to asthma.

emoticon Healthy Tip: Skip the drive-thru and eat fruits and vegetables at least three times a week, a move that research found was associated with lower rates of asthma.

Lab Rats

The Facts: Eat processed foods? If so, you’re an unknowing participant in a huge experiment. To date, more than 80,000 chemicals have been approved for use in the U.S., many of them used in processed foods. Unfortunately, only about 15 percent have been tested for long-term impacts on human health.

emoticon Healthy Tip: Cook like your great-grandmother. If an ingredient looks like it belongs in a science lab, avoid the product. Make a vow to visit your local farmer’s market regularly to experiment with fresh ingredients. Form a neighborhood cooking club, and hold get-togethers at which members whip up a different bulk meal from whole ingredients. Break the results down into smaller servings, swap, and share for a fridge full of healthy options all week long—without investing tons of time in the kitchen!

By Leah Zerbe,

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
WATERMELLEN 3/30/2013 6:20PM

    All so true!!

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RUNNINGOMA 3/27/2013 5:16PM

    Food for thought. Thanks for sharing. I am going to make some changes to my diet and this gives me a springboard to work from.
Only one thing - if they use natural coloring - I read recently that this could come from bugs.....eewwww!

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    Great article. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

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ITS_MY_TURN_NOW 3/26/2013 9:43AM

    Great blog, Taty!
Thank you. It is so tough to get started but so worth the effort! My family has been gluten, corn and soy free for 2 years this month. (Which means very little processed food.) This is the first winter, in the 23 years that I have known him, that my DH did not take any antibiotics! It works!

Comment edited on: 3/26/2013 9:44:42 AM

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KANOE10 3/26/2013 8:31AM

    That was great information. Thanks for sharing. Wonderful tips.

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ROZEEROZ1 3/26/2013 4:04AM

    great info, - stay away from phos.... will look out for that. Therre is so much to remember here.

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VISUALLYRICS 3/25/2013 5:03PM

    emoticon Info! Thank you for sharing!
Hurray for emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon ....your article findings were an eye opener!

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TWINKS55 3/25/2013 4:49PM

    Thank you, Taty.
Excellent info and tips! emoticon


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NEW-CAZ 3/25/2013 4:01PM

    Great info Taty, thanks for putting it all together

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 3/25/2013 3:38PM

    Gives me lots of pause .............. now that we're redoing the kitchen, maybe it's time to redo a LOT of things.....................

Thanks, Taty!

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KIMCOLLINGS 3/25/2013 3:36PM

    Terrific information. Thank you for posting it!

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BLONDIE218145 3/25/2013 3:29PM

    I read this entire thing! Ty for sharing such shocking information. Makes ya sick on some of them. emoticon

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