5 Ways Eating Processed Foods Messes with Your Body

5 Ways Eating Processed Foods Messes with Your Body

processedfood
We are all guilty of craving processed foods at one point or another. It’s nearly impossible not to.

Processed foods have been chemically engineered to make us crave them. Packed like bite-sized grenades that explode with off-the-charts flavor, it’s well-known that processed foods can cause us to overeat and experience uncontrollable cravings. But, that’s not all.

Foods that have been chemically processed or highly refined can mess with the healthy workings of your body. Here are five areas of your body that processed foods affect.

1. Skin

Excess sugar in the diet, which often comes from highly refined grains and sugars in processed foods, can encourage the degradation of collagen and elastin in your skin. This leads to a loss of firmness, loss of elasticity and an onslaught of premature sagging and wrinkles. On top of that, the inflammation that sugar causes in the body can aggravate conditions like acne and rosacea. Natural, whole foods, like sweet potatoes or bone broth, can enhance the skin’s appearance by boosting collagen and elastin production.

2. Gut

Highly processed ingredients may be killing off the beneficial flora in your gut. In conducting unpublished research for a book, one man discovered claims to have lost 1,300 species of gut flora after eating only McDonald’s for ten days. While this is an extreme scenario, over time, regular consumption of processed foods could have the same toxic effect. Certain food preservatives can also have an inflammatory effect in the gut, which may lead to conditions such as IBS. Since gut microbes seem to be increasingly responsible for obesity, memory function, immune function and more, it’s important not to subject them to an unfriendly, highly processed environment.

3. Hormones

Exposure to plastic chemicals, including BPAs and phthalates, can cause hormonal havoc in the body. Since all processed foods come swaddled in plenty of plastic, all those plastic chemicals could be steadily accumulating in your body. A recent study showed that consumption of fast food was correlated with increased exposure to industrial chemicals known as phthalates. Unfortunately, exposure to these chemicals can have a disruptive impact on yourhormones and health, as they seep into the body easily and kick out the body’s natural hormones from places they need to be. Avoid packaged foods as often as possible, especially if your hormones are already imbalanced.

4. Brain

Consumption of artificially sugar-packed foods may also be responsible for the chemical changes in the brain that can lead to depression. The brain can become addicted to the high-octane pleasure it gets from consuming that artificial flavor punch of most processed foods. When it doesn’t get its “fix,” feelings of depression can take hold. Processed food consumption may also increase the risk of memory problems and reduce your ability to control your appetite. The refined ingredients are simply not nourishing for your mind. Instead, eat some healthy fats from avocado or salmon to keep your memory and brain function strong as you age.

5. Blood Sugar

The hidden sugars (especially corn syrup) in many processed foods are responsible for the influx of obesity and diabetes in our population. In the short term, high sugar consumption causes insulin resistance in the body, which is when the body must create more and more insulin in order to affect cells. Insulin resistance is at the root of many modern diseases, including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, diabetes and heart disease. Processed foods are often highly refined and have very high GIs, which contributes to insulin resistance. Consume whole foods that contain fiber, protein and wholesome fats to balance out natural sugars rather than crunching on addictive, unsatisfying refined carbohydrates when you need a snack.

Needless to say, highly refined, processed foods also encourage your body to hold on to excess weight in unhealthy areas, such as the waistline. Eating mostly a whole foods diet with very limited to no processed foods is paramount to health and happiness. Putting your health first when it comes to diet will pay off in the long run.

Source: EcoWatch

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How processed food contributes to massive rainforest destruction and environmental damage

How processed food contributes to massive rainforest destruction and environmental damage

by: Jonathan Benson,

(NaturalNews) When considering the various factors that are most responsible for widespread environmental pollution and ecosystem destruction in today’s world, most people probably envision things like industrial manufacturing facilities spilling chemicals into nearby waterways, coal-fired power plants billowing plumes of black smoke into the blue sky, and thousands of miles of major highways occupied by millions of gas-guzzling, fume-emitting vehicles. It turns out, though, that agriculture, at least the industrialized type, is actually one of the biggest contributors to the destruction of the planet in the modern times.

All across the globe, large swaths of otherwise pristine rainforests and jungles are literally being clear-cut and turned into mega-plantations for growing major cash crops like soy, corn, canola, and wheat, all of which are used to formulate various ingredients and additives used throughout the processed food supply. In other words, there is big money to be made in growing such crops precisely because their derivatives are added to almost every type of processed food available — and in the eyes of the unscrupulous opportunist, rainforests and other natural habitats are merely inconvenient obstacles to be defeated, rather than natural treasures.

Cash crop plantations replacing native forests throughout Third World

Many areas of South America, for instance, are experiencing great losses in rainforest acreage as corporate agriculture giants move in to replace them with soy and corn fields (http://www.greenpeace.org). Native forests throughout Asia are also being greatly damaged by the palm oil industry, which happens to produce one of the only relatively healthy cash crops being cultivated on a larger scale. (http://environment.yale.edu)

Whether it is the soybean oil and refined wheat flour added to processed cookies and crackers, or the corn syrup and soy lecithin added to processed chocolate bars and candies, the processed food industry as a whole is directly fueling demand for the very same crop plantations that are destroying the natural world at a devastatingly alarming pace. Even the fuel we put in our cars, a percentage of which comes in the form of “biofuel,” is promoting rapid deforestation and the ruination of natural habitats worldwide.

“You may not consume large quantities of soy directly, but the animals you eat do,” adds WWF Global about how conventional meat production also fuels environmental destruction. “80 percent of the world’s soybean crop is fed to livestock, especially chickens. So if you eat meat, cheese or eggs, or drink milk, chances are you’re indirectly consuming soybeans grown in biodiverse ecosystems that have been greatly reduced and fragmented to make space for soy plantations.” (http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/soy/)

Standard American Diet fueling global deforestation, habitat destruction

Since the Standard American Diet (SAD) consists largely of processed, factory-farmed foods that are loaded with various derivatives of soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, and wheat, Americans as a whole are also contributing, albeit indirectly, to the devastating consequences of cash crop plantations. These consequences including things like soil erosion, water contamination, deforestation, and poverty. (http://www.naturalnews.com/030390_GMO_soy_poverty.html)

Avoiding conventional meat and dairy products, and instead choosing local and organic alternatives, is one way to help fight deforestation. Steering clear of foods that contain ingredients derived from conventional soy, corn, cotton, canola, and wheat is another way to “vote with your wallet” against environmental mismanagement and destruction.

Sources for this article include:

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/soy/

http://www.greenpeace.org

http://environment.yale.edu

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/038004_processed_food_rainforest_destruction.html#ixzz2CXLNy9vF

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