Eating Processed Foods

Eating clean is a very simple concept. Instead of spending time and energy thinking about eating specific food elements like fats, proteins or carbohydrates, you need to be more mindful of your food's trail between its source and your plate.

Eating clean is about eating whole foods that are free of scientific processing. Today, seeds and food of all verities are exposed to scientific intervention. The modification of fruits and vegetables to allow them to grow out of season, the injections of hormones in animals to increase the production of meats and milk, and the addition of salts and sweeteners to drinks and foods that increase your desire to eat them are examples of modified and/or processed foods.

Foods that Count as Processed

"Processing" includes:

  • Additions of any kind such as salt, sugar, and fat to give flavor or preservatives that keep food from spoiling too quickly
  • Changing the form of the natural food
  • Foods with components manufactured in a lab

Processed food includes hot dogs, jarred foods and instant foods. Cooking your own vegetables can also be considered processed because you’re changing the form of natural food. Juicing your favorite veggies and fruits can also be considered processed. Even though some foods are processed, that doesn't make them as bad as cakes, pies or diet sodas.

Processing food is not always bad. At times, processing can remove toxins, bacteria and allows us to eat certain types of foods in off-season due to freezing or canning. Processing alters the consistency or taste of food to make it more appealing.

Instead of processed foods, follow a diet method that is the best fit for you. It is a realization that surfaced that there’s no method to eating any particular diet. Being that it’s very difficult to identify the healthiest way to eat, researchers believe there may never be a single diet that will be the “best” diet. In fact, it has been reported that humans are able to equally do well on a number of different meal plans.

If you look back in history of mankind, the human species were always intelligent enough to adapt and survive with whatever foods that was offered. Studies have shown that those who have made it to age 90 and beyond never really followed any restrictive diet nor did they avoid drinking alcohol. Researchers found that two drinks a day, of any kind, was related to a 10-15% reduced risk of death.

Surprisingly, vitamin supplements didn’t influence the lifespan in any way, however being overweight starting in middle age affected longevity.

Scientists researched a multitude of diets and found that they all provided some level of weight loss, with minimal differences among them all. So what’s most important is picking a diet that is best fit for you. If you believe that a specific diet gives you a sense of belonging and you’re able to identify with it, then go for it.

Dr. Donald Henderson is Medical Director of Encore Wellness & Weight Loss and has a private practice specializing in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine in Los Angeles, CA.

Fact: Listing 3 things that you’re grateful for each day can improve your attitude and level of happiness over a 30-day period.

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