The Truth About Processed Foods

We’ve all heard it again and again - avoid processed foods. When we’re on the go, it can be difficult to do so. After all, it’s much easier to grab a granola bar out of the pantry than it is to cut up fruit and veggies before running out of the door. Trust me, I get it! However, you should know the truth about the processed foods you are ingesting and the effects that they have on your body. Today, I’d like to dive into a few of them that became evident when I began really looking at the food labels in my kitchen.

  • Eating primarily processed foods can lead to overconsumption. Have you ever had a day where your appetite was out of control? What were you eating? Chances are you were probably eating a lot of processed foods - even if you weren’t truly hungry. Why? When our body is not receiving the macro- and micronutrients it needs to thrive, it will continue to seek out food sources until they are. This often leads to overeating, which we know is not good for overall health.

  • They’re low in nutrients and high in calories. I challenge you to spend three days eating whole foods and compare your energy levels to days you are eating a processed diet. I’m not talking about giving up the french fries; I’m talking about giving up those easy, pre-packaged meals and snacks in the pantry. Sure your caloric intake will be the same, so it may be easy to assume that your body should react similarly either way. However, you’ll quickly see that your energy levels will be higher. Why? Just like I said before, when your body is getting adequate nutrients it will thrive!

  • Processed foods are known to have hidden ingredients. Take a look at the nutrition label on any food that comes in a wrapper. Can you pronounce all of them? Do you know what each of them is and where it comes from? That’s the difficult thing to swallow about eating processed foods. If you don’t know what you’re eating, why put it in your body?

  • They often have too much sugar and sodium. Excess sugar and salt can be detrimental to your health. Too much sugar can cause your body to become resistant to insulin, while too much salt can raise your blood pressure. Both are a recipe for disaster.  

  • With that said, processed foods can lead to disease! It’s no secret that those who eat a diet full of processed foods often struggle with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Friends, I totally agree that grabbing a processed snack like a granola bar or cereal can be much easier and time efficient than relying on whole foods to fuel you. On the other hand, it is important to consider how these choices can really affect your health. Yes, it may be easier and more time efficient - but are the costs and effects on your body worth it in the long run? Today, I challenge you to swap one of the snacks or parts of your meal that is typically processed to a whole food. Send me a message of what you swapped out and how you are feeling after! I’m excited to hear!