Cookies, breads and rolls, cold cuts, sandwiches, pizza, instant soups, and sodas are among the processed foods that harm your body the most.
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Processed foods It’s not exclusively mac n cheese and all fast food. Not all processed foods fit into the same drawer. On the one hand there are those that you should avoid consuming frequently and on the other those that you can integrate into your balanced diet.
What are processed foods?
Food that has been cooked, frozen, packaged or modified in its nutritional composition with fortification, preservation or preparation in different ways are considered processed according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The best: minimally processed
Bagged spinach or foods processed to ensure nutritional quality and freshness such as canned tomatoes, frozen fruits and vegetables, and canned tuna are options to integrate into a healthy diet.
The worst: ultra-processed
They go beyond incorporating Salt, sweeteners or fats to include artificial colors and flavors Y preservatives for improve texture and increase palatability. They are usually ready to eat with minimal preparation. They tend to be low in fiber and nutrients, with high amounts of added sugar and sodium.
For example: cookies, sugary drinks, cold cuts, potato chips, breakfast cereals, frozen pizza, and ready meals.
How do highly ultra-processed foods affect your body?
1. They can gain weight
Frequent and excessive consumption of intensely processed foods can cause you to gain weight due to their high calorie content.
Studies reveal that people who have a diet that includes ultra-processed foods tend to eat around 500 more calories daily than those who follow a minimally processed regime.
2. Increases the risk of death
A highly processed diet has been linked to an overall higher risk of death. Studies show that there is an 18% percent increased risk of mortality from all causes with just one serving of ultra-processed foods per day and the 62% for those who consume four servings per day.
Among the diseases associated with ultra-processed foods, the risk of Cancer in general.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies them as processed meats in the same food category as can cause cancer and studies show that it increases 42% risk of heart disease and a 19% chance of suffering type 2 diabetes.
3. Problems with your heart
“Most of the sodium in Americans comes from processed packaged and restaurant foods, not from the salt shaker,” notes the American Heart Association.
High sodium levels are linked to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Main sources of sodium: breads and rolls, cold cuts, sandwiches, pizza, soup and chicken (nuggets, fried chicken, etc).
4. You affect your intestinal flora and weaken your defenses
Diet plays an important role in determining what types of microbes live in our intestines. A diet rich in refined sugar and unhealthy fats, with low consumption of fruits and vegetables is the enemy of the good bacteria that protect your body and they favor the growth of harmful microorganisms.
Eating or drinking too much sugar slows down immune system cells that attack bacteria. East effect lasts at least a few hours after from having a couple of sugary drinks, explains the medical journal WebMD.
5. You get addicted
Foods with two or more key palatability-related ingredients, specifically sugar, salt, fat, or carbohydrates, can activate brain reward neurocircuits similar to drugs like cocaine or opioids. They can also avoid mechanisms in the body that make you feel full and tell you to stop eating, according to researchers from the Cofrin Logan Center.
If you want to reduce your intake of processed foods, try preparing and cooking more food at home. Go for unprocessed and minimally processed products.
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