13 More Convincing Reasons to Avoid Processed Foods

poptarts_processedfoodsarticleNot too long ago, I presented 16 Convincing Reasons to Avoid Processed Foods.  The response was well-received from readers.  Isn’t it shocking to learn the horrors of what goes on in processed food manufacturing?

So I decided to provide even more reasons to stop eating processed, chemical-laden foods.

Many packaged, processed foods contain more unpronounceable, bio-chemistry type ingredients rather than actual real foods.  Become an active participant in knowing what you are putting into your mouth simply by looking at the list of ingredients before you put the product into your shopping cart.

If the product contains chemicals and things unpronounceable, then don’t purchase it — do your health and the health of your loved ones a favor.  Also, if you see the words “high fructose corn syrup” or “hydrogenated oils” or “trans fats” or “soybean oil” or “corn oil”  then step far far away.  These ingredients are linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and neuro-degenerative disease.

Below is a list of 13 more convincing reasons to avoid processed foods.  Replace processed foods with real, whole foods.  Quick tip: the lesser the number of ingredients in the product, the better.  Shop the perimeter when at the grocery store — or better yet, get to know your farmers by buying from the local Farmer’s Market.

1.  A University of Cincinnati study found that a diet high in fructose and trans fat doesn’t just lead to obesity — it also causes oxidative damage to the liver that decreases your body’s ability to eliminate toxins.

2. Only 1 percent of obesity is caused by genetics; the rest is caused by diet. 

3.  Cockroaches and flies that visit factory farms are becoming resistant to antibiotics, and researchers at North Carolina State University fear these bugs may spread this resistance into nearby towns.

4.  Today, more kids recognize McDonald’s Golden Arches than the Christian cross. 

5.  People who eat foods with artificial sweeteners often end up consuming more total calories per day.  It’s likely because these sweeteners are so much sweeter than sugar that they prime the brain’s desire for even more sweet foods.

6.  Residues of more than seventy pesticides have been found in individual boxes of cereal. 

7.  Like tobacco companies before them, processed-food manufacturers now offer “healthier” versions of products that are no better at preventing disease than the foods that preceded them.  In other words, low-tar cigarettes equal low-fat cookies. 

8.  Lay’s Light and Pringles Light potato chips contain olestra, a fat substitute that leaches fat-soluable nutrients like vitamin D from the body and causes diarrhea, bloating, and “anal leakage.”

9.  Soy protein, found abundantly in processed foods, has been linked to infertility in women. 

10.  One or more rodent hairs are allowed per hundred grams of peanut butter.

11.  Most processed foods contain at least one — if not several — soy-derived ingredient.  While considered to be healthy, consumption of soy products is associated with cognitive decline and brain atrophy.  

12.  Candy corn is actually made with corn — corn syrup.

13.  The hidden costs of the dollar menu at fast-food chains are steep.  The annual expense of medical care and missed work add up to $83 billion for depression, $183 billion for Alzheimer’s disease, $270 billion for obesity, and $174 billion for diabetes. 

Resource:  The Happiness Diet by Tyler Graham. 

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Thanks for reading folks.  So what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.  

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Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Chika Obih Wellness based in Oakland, CA and offers consulting services virtually, in-person or by phone. Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up your free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

16 Convincing Reasons to Avoid Processed Foods

processed junk foodsIf you want to drastically reduce your chances of acquiring cancer, stroke, autoimmune disease, diabetes, obesity, dull brittle hair nails and skin, mood swings, brain fog, sugar addiction, depression, anxiety, yeast infection, digestive gut issues, and more — you’d be wise to stay away from processed foods.  Tyler Graham, author of The Happiness Diet, brilliantly shares what havoc processed foods can wreak onto the body.  The following are 16 convincing reasons to avoid processed foods. Just eat real foods — it will change your life, and the lives of those around you, for the best.

1.  People who eat foods with artificial sweeteners often end up consuming more total calories per day.  It’s likely because these sweeteners are so much sweeter than sugar that they prime the brain’s desire for even more sweet food.  #addiction

2. Processed foods speed the process of aging.

3.  Children who eat fast food twice a week are more likely to suffer from asthma. 

4.  Big Tobacco owns many of America’s most popular processed-food brands, like Nabisco and Kraft. 

5.  A Dunkin’ Donuts glazed chocolate cake stick contains more than forty ingredients, including five different types of gums and TBHQ — a form of butane (lighter fluid) that’s used as a preservative.

6.  It’s been studied to show that a diet high in fructose and trans fat doesn’t just lead to obesity — it causes oxidative damage to the liver that decreases your body’s ability to eliminate toxins.

7. Buying processed foods is just another stop at the gas station pump.  The packaging, transport, fertilizer, and pesticides need to get processed food to your kitchen depends on billions and billions of barrels of oil.

8.  Animal feed given to factory-farmed cows contains rendered roadkill, euthanized cats and dogs, and plastic pellets as a cheap form of “roughage.”

9.  Zinc is known as “the intelligent mineral,” and it is removed from grains when most manufacturers make processed foods.

9.  Coffee-mate liquid creamer is full of health-depleting trans fats.  The reason, however, that the label says zero trans fats is because of an FDA loophole — it a product contains less than 0.5 gram of trans fat per serving, it can carry a zero trans fat label.  This is misleading especially in products with small recommended serving size.  Just a few cups of coffee with these creamers can easily add up to a whopping dose of depression-promoting, heart-stopping trans fats.

10.  Drinking too much soy milk may lower a man’s sperm count.  It can exacerbate hypothyroid therefore lowering metabolism — the body’s ability to burn fat suffers.

11.  Just because jelly bean and soda manufacturers tout antioxidants in their products doesn’t mean their food is healthful. 

12.  Milk from factory-farmed cows treated with growth hormone often contains pus.

13.  Those blueberries found in cereal, muffins, and bagels? They are often fake.  Made of nothing more than sugar, hydrogenated oil, and artificial food dyes No. 2 and No. 40.

14.  Eating processed food contributes to the death of small farms across America. 

15.  Cooking at home has been linked to longer life spans. 

16. No matter what the packaging says:  Processed foods are made to be cheap – not healthy. 

Convinced? Begin making the commitment to reduce and eliminate intake of processed, sugar and chemical filled foods.  Choose real foods instead.  Cook at home more often.  Enjoy the flavors and the colors of whole foods.  Need inspiration and support?  Contact me today.

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Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Chika Obih Wellness based in Oakland, CA and offers services virtually, in-person or by phone. Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and fun holistic lifestyle solutions.  Contact Chika today to set up your free consultation.

Follow Chika on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Trans-Fat America: The Big Fat Truth

Fast food breakfast sandwich: loaded with trans fats

Fast food breakfast sandwich: loaded w/ trans fats

Fats.  We have been taught to fear this four letter word – it is often associated with raising cholesterol, causing obesity, and triggering heart disease – reasons to stay far away from fats.  Unfortunately, this lie has been perpetuated for far too long.  Not all fats are created equal.  Good quality fats are necessary for brain function, hormone production, healthy skin and cell membranes, and to absorb vital vitamins and minerals; In other words, good fats ensure our good health. 

The problem with mainstream America is that it tends to lump all fats together.  This can dangerously and irresponsibly lead people to abstain from eating any kind of fat thinking that a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet is the optimal choice.  Unfortunately, it can take years for health to decline from starving the body of the high quality fats it needs to function properly.  For the sake of our health, we need to learn to discriminate between fats that nourish us and the fats that derail our health and the health of our precious children.

What are Trans Fats?

Of all the fats that are most damaged and can cause the most harm, trans fatty acids (TFAs) stand out from the group.  Trans fats are created by an industrial (unnatural, man-made) process that forces hydrogen atoms into liquid vegetable oils (hydrogenation).  This process saturates the oils, making them more solid and giving them, and the products that are made with them, longer shelf life, desirable texture and flavor stability – a real money maker for the manufacturers of processed foods.

Trans fats can cause weight gain, impaired metabolism, diabetes, and inflammation.  Never eat them.  They can be found in processed foods designed not to spoil.

What foods contain Trans Fats?

Just shop the inner aisles of most supermarkets to discover where trans fats are lurking.  Trans fats are found in margarines, shortenings, crackers, cookies, chips, and other baked and fried goods.  You won’t always find the words “trans fats” printed on food labels so it is important to watch for other key words.  If you see the words “partially hydrogenated,” “hydrogenated,” or “shortening,” then you can be certain that product contains trans fats.  In fact, TFAs make up more than 50% of fats in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils!

trans fats_quote

What’s wrong with Trans Fats?

The following are just a few of the many adverse effects of TFAs that have been documented in both lab animals and humans:

  • Increase incidence of heart disease AND sudden death from cardiac causes
  • Lower the “good” HDL cholesterol and raise the “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Increase risk for diabetes
  • Negatively affect immune response (triggers autoimmune symptoms)
  • Contribute to childhood asthma
  • Decrease levels of testosterone in males, increase abnormal sperm
How much Trans Fats Can you EAT?

Ideally ZERO grams of trans fats per day is advised for optimal health.  But according to the American Heart Association, TFA intake should be kept to no more than 1% of your daily fat intake.  On a 2000 calorie a day diet, this would amount to 20 calories or roughly 2 grams of trans fats – not much.

How Can You Avoid Trans Fats?

Just eat real foods is the straight-n-narrow answer.  To add a bit of detail as to how, here it is:

  • As much as possible, eat whole, unrefined foods.
  • Avoid packaged foods containing partially hydrogenated oils or shortening.
  • Pass on any commercially prepared baked goods (cakes, pies, pastries, doughnuts), snack foods, processed foods, and fast foods – treat them as guilty until proven innocent (or guilty by association).
  • Avoid using margarine, shortening and canola oil.
Good Fat Sources:
  • Avocados
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Raw or dry roasted nuts and seeds
  • Raw or organic, whole milk dairy products (real butter is good for you!)
  • Coconut
  • Organic pastured eggs
  • Grass-fed beef, lamb and pastured poultry
  • Wild-caught fish (fresh, frozen or canned in water or olive oil)
good fats

good fats

Lastly, do not fear fats. Fats from whole foods, or minimally processed from whole foods, are beneficial and necessary for good health. They are also delicious and contribute to a feeling of satisfaction and satiety when eating.  Just remember to stay on the unprocessed, whole foods track, and your health will be far less likely to be derailed by the damaged trans-fats found in almost all processed foods.

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Thanks for reading folks.  So what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.  

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