12 Processed Foods You Must Avoid to Stay Healthy

12 Processed Foods You Must Avoid to Stay Healthy : Wiki Health Blog
12 Processed Foods You Must Avoid to Stay Healthy : Wiki Health Blog
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 What Is Processed Food?

Before we start with our list of processed food that you should avoid as much as you can let us tell you first what processed food is. Processed food is a term that applies to any food which has been altered from its natural state. Most of the food that we buy is processed in some kind of manner for example cheese, canned vegetables, bread, milk, chips etc. Freezing, baking, pasteurizing products, canning and drying are all food processing techniques. But processed food is not always a bad choice.
Foods like milk need to be processed to make it safe by pasteurizing it and other foods need to be processed to make them suitable for consumption like getting oil from pressing seeds. Pre-chopped vegetables or fruit canned in its own juice are examples of convenient processed foods. But not all processed food is healthy or good for you. Processed food can also contain high amounts of salt, fat and sugar. Here is a list of processed food that you should avoid at any cost.

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1.    Bacon

Bacon is full of sodium and saturated fat. Sodium can lead to high blood pressure while saturated fat has been linked to obesity and heart disease. Store bought bacon is extremely bad for your health as it is loaded with preservatives which can cause problems beginning from headaches to cancer.

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2.Hotdogs And Other Processed Meats

Hot dogs and other highly processed meats are rich in salt, mono sodium glutamate, sodium nitrate and many other preservatives plus they contain artificial flavors, unhealthy fillers and mechanically separated poultry and meat. Many people have no idea that mechanically separated meat is highly processed under extreme pressure and heat and therefore any nutritional value that it had is lost in the process.

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For example the proteins in the meat become denatured under the extreme conditions. Other lunch meats such as bologna contain similar ingredients.  If you really want a hot dog buy the ones that are organic and nitrate free and do not contain any preservatives or artificial flavors.

1.    Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets just like hot dogs are at the top of industrialized food. You may think that they are just proteins but in actual they are 50 percent fats and contain more carbohydrates than proteins. The carbohydrates present in them are unhealthy ones which are found in fillers and breading. Chicken nuggets are mostly deep fried and often in oils that contain trans fat. Trans fats cause deformation of cell membrane which contributes in developing metabolic diseases like type II diabetes. Most of the chicken nuggets also contain a lot of unhealthy additives like mono sodium glutamate and tertiary butyl hydroquinone.

2.    Granola Bars

Granola bar or cereal bar are stuffed with grains and come in packaging that features sunshine and mountains. But they are also containing loads of added sugars which digest very quickly and do not satisfy your hunger for long. Although they are marketed as a healthy product but they are far from having any good nutritional value. Their high quantity of simple carbohydrates and a list of ingredients that you cannot even pronounce make it a good enough reason to avoid them.

3.    Instant Ramen

College students mostly power through the finals week eating only ramen and drinking cheap coffee. Do not continue this habit after the senior year or better never starts with it at all and if you do have it still stop immediately. One packet of ramen contains almost 2000 mg of sodium which is 500mg more than the recommended daily intake. It boosts the blood pressure which can lead to stroke. In addition the other ingredients are mostly made up of simple carbohydrates. It also contains a lot of fat which makes it the unhealthiest meal there can be.

4.    Dried Fruits

Do you try to satisfy your sweet tooth with a handful of raisins or a few dried mango spears? Have you ever wondered why they are so satisfying? The reason is that they are high in calories and give you a high sugar punch. However they are a better option than candy as they have a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber in them. But be careful with the portion that you eat as a small portion is also high in sugar and calories and extra sugar means weight gain as the body stores it as fat.

5.    Flavored Nuts

Flavored nuts may seem to be good for you but they are absolutely not. Whether they are coated in toffee, have maple flavor or are dusted with wasabi these nuts are loaded with extra sugar and salt. This extra sugar and salt can cause weight gain, high blood pressure and diabetes. And as they are sweet and sticky that makes them not so good for your teeth either.

6.    Fruit Snacks

Fruit snacks are enemies of your teeth as well as your waistline. Their name is probably the most inaccurate name give to a food product as they are packed with cane sugar and fructose corn syrup and contain just a drop of the actual fruit ingredient. The sugar in them can lead to weight gain and increase your risk of diabetes. The sugar and gelatinous ingredients which stick to your teeth also provide ideal environment for bacteria in the mouth to make cavities.

7.    Margarine

Margarine was once considered the healthy alternative of butter. But in reality it is far from being anywhere near healthy. Margarine is packed with Trans fats that are the most unhealthy type of fat. Tran’s fats increases the bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol can lead to heart diseases and stroke. The link between Trans fatty acids and cancer is not clear but one institution which is Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests the cancer patients and cancer survivors to lower these fats in their dietary recommendations.

8.    Microwave Popcorn

Popcorn is not bad for you only if you go easy on salt and butter and microwaving food is also not bad. So why is microwave popcorn bad for you? The answer is in the bag. Perfluoroalkyls that are found in the microwave popcorn bag are just one class of the chemicals found in them. Perfluoroalkyls have been linked with health problems from kidney disease to poor quality of semen according to studies.

9.    Store Bought Cakes, Cookies, Muffins And Crackers

Health issues due to these products are similar. As we all know they have high levels of salt and sugar in them but most of them contain trans fats as well. Trans fats are used in them as they are cheaper than healthy fats, hence are more profitable and also because they prolong the shelf life and improve the texture of the product. As a matter of fact there are food science labs whose sole purpose is to figure out to use the trans fats and other industrial foods to get the perfect texture in these kinds of products. If you want to know whether the product has trans fats or not don't just read the label on the front. The manufacturers are actually allowed by the United States Food and Drug Administration to label their product as zero trans fat containing if each serving has less than 0.05gm of trans fat.

Therefore many manufacturers reduce the size of their serving to reach this number so that they can label their product zero trans fats, for example if the serving size is three cookies they will write one cookie to make it zero trans fat. If you want to know for sure if the product contains trans fats or not then read the ingredients if you find the words hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated in the list then the product contains trans fats.

10.    Ketchup

This favorite condiment is really bad news. A small dollop is not a problem, but slathering burgers and fries with it is a problem. The tomatoes used in making it are so diluted by sugars and salt that there is no natural value left in them. The calories in ketchup are mostly coming from the sugar so you may just sprinkle your fries with sugar.

11.    Soda Pop

Sodas have no nutrition only empty calories. But the worst part is that they contain substances that are actually harmful for you. Sugar is bad but high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as sweetener is worse.  HFCS can damage liver and cause blood glucose to spike worse than table sugar. In United States soda pop is the primary contributor to obesity. It is also a powerful acid producing substance and therefore causes the naturally alkaline pH of the body to become acidic. Cancer cells grow in acidic environment and cannot survive in alkaline environment. Acidic body is more susceptible to bacterial and viral attacks as the natural defenses of the immune system are weakened.

12.    Frozen Dinners

After take outs frozen dinners are the next best thing. You get a complete meal on a plate straight out of the microwave. But these dinners are mostly packed with fat, sugar and sodium. These can lead to weight gain and heart issues. They can raise your blood pressure and put you in the danger zone of getting a stroke. If you do need to buy them then opt for the organic meals with a list of ingredients that you can recognize.

Author Bio

Marry Jojo is a freelance writer and blogger . She believes in healthy living and lifestyle. She promotes healthy food consumption and helps others to know how to stop eating junk food.

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