When it comes to the evolution of food, there have been quite a lot of changes within the past few decades. While local, fresh produce is available, countless individuals are consuming foods made in a factory. In fact, the consumption of processed food is on the rise in many areas. With the rise of processed foods, we are now facing a wide range of health consequences, including increased rates of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Individuals who are aiming to live a healthier, more balanced life, as well as a longer one, should start on the right path by eliminating the following foods from their diet.
What was once believed to be the heart-healthy choice, is now known to be extremely harmful to an individual's health. Made from hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine is packed with artificial colors and synthetic vitamins. During the manufacturing process involved in making margarine, vegetable oils are exposed to chemicals, bleach, hydrogenation, additives, and emulsifiers. This process produces trans fats, which have been linked to heart disease, decreased fertility, lowered immune function, and more. Raw, organic butter actually offers nutrients, especially when sourced from pasture-raised cows, and when consumed in moderation, it is superior in comparison to any margarine or hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Hydrogenated vegetable oils, which we just discussed, is essentially what fried foods are traditionally cooked in. While fried foods are being cooked, they are soaking up all of the unhealthy fat in the oil they are in. When consumed, individuals are placing increased strain on their heart as plaque begins to build in their arteries, forcing their heart to work harder to pump blood. When foods are fried, they also lose their nutritional value. This means even otherwise healthy fish will not be nearly as good for individuals when they are fried, which is how they are typically cooked for traditional fish and chips. It is especially important for individuals who already suffer from a health condition to eliminate fried foods from their diet.
Just about everyone knows that while drinking soda is delicious, it is also full of empty calories. However, soda may also be doing more than expanding an individual's waistline. When consuming even one to two sodas a day, that's a lot of extra sugar! Type II diabetes is on the rise, based on lifestyle choices, mainly fluctuating blood glucose levels.
However, individuals shouldn't assume diet sodas are any better, as they contain artificial sweeteners, which have been linked to cancer, brain tumors, and seizures. When individuals are thirsty and find themselves reaching for a soda, they are not hydrating their body. Instead, individuals should drink water.
Processed Deli Meats
From bologna to hot dogs, bacon to deli ham, processed meats have been the focus behind plenty of recent research. These 'meats' are often produced with a known carcinogen known as sodium nitrite. After reviewing hundreds of studies, researchers have concluded processed meats are carcinogenic to humans, increasing the risk of prostate, bowel, pancreatic, and other forms of cancer.
It has been reported that with every fifty-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily, individuals increase their risk of bowel cancer by eighteen percent. Although more research continues to progress, it's recommended to swap these meat items for fresher, more nutritionally dense choices. For example, freshly cooked chicken or roasted vegetables are perfect for sandwiches.
Unfortunately, many food companies have taken advantage of the millions of individuals who are desperate to lose weight and have created 'diet' versions of the products they currently make or develop new diet products. These foods are often packed with hidden additives, as well as plenty of sugar and salt. Just because something has zero fat, does not mean it is healthy. These foods also give consumers the wrong idea, making them believe all fat is the enemy, when in reality, it is the type of fat that makes all the difference. An individual's best bet is to consume whole foods that provide them with nutrients, not manufactured 'diet' foods.
Many individuals may like to sit down, watch a movie, and eat microwaved popcorn, but that is not all they are eating. The lining of a bag of microwave popcorn often contains toxic materials, which have been linked to cancer. Also, the corn sourced for these products is generally from genetically modified (GMO) corn farms. It is believed the increased consumption of GMO foods is contributing to issues with digestion. If individuals love popcorn, there is, thankfully, no need to give it up. They just have to make it the old fashion way with a little coconut or olive oil, organic popcorn kernels, and a tall pot on the stove.
There is no doubt fish is a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, farmed fish does not appear to be as beneficial for individuals to consume. Farmed salmon, for instance, is often fed grain and soy, resulting in approximately fifty percent less omega-3 fatty acids. Individuals who source and consume plenty of organic fruits and vegetables should know farmed fish generally contains high concentrations of pesticides and antibiotics. The most commonly farmed fish include cod, salmon, catfish, tilapia, and sea bass. Thus, it is healthier to source and consume fish that has been sustainably caught in the wild.
Artificial sweeteners have become increasingly popular in the diet of individuals who want to lose a few extra pounds due to their low-calorie content. However, there are pitfalls to these sweeteners that can contribute to numerous conditions and diseases known to shorten an individual's lifespan. Artificial sweeteners are sweeter tasting than regular sugar is, or rather, they are more potent than regular table sugar. The excessive use of sweeteners causes an individual to become less sensitive to natural sugars in healthier foods due to the overstimulation of sugar receptors.
This overstimulation makes the individual less likely to consume healthy foods because they taste overly bland and are not appealing to eat. Artificial sweeteners cause a mental dissociation between the consumption of calories and the taste of sweetness. These mechanisms combine to result in an individual consuming more unhealthy and sugary foods than they would without its influence. These mechanisms have proven to cause type 2 diabetes, increased amounts of oxygen radicals, inflammation, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
Food High In Sodium
Avoiding food high in sodium can be an effective strategy for individuals who want to live longer. The mechanism that supports this is directly associated with the long-term elevation of blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of the blood on the walls of the vessels as it is moving through them. Fluid balance in the body is a main modulating factor in the management of blood pressure. The reason behind this is because there is a certain amount of blood volume in the body that does not put too much pressure on the blood vessel walls. When more fluid is added to the blood, the blood volume in the body becomes larger, and the removal of fluid from the blood causes a decrease in blood volume.
The amount of fluid in the bloodstream is managed by electrolytes such as sodium. An increase in sodium intake causes the individual to increase their intake of fluids, subsequently causing an increase in blood volume. Just like water runs through a hose, a larger amount moving through a small hose results in higher pressure than a smaller amount of water moving through the same hose. A diet that contains high levels of sodium causes long-term high blood pressure and damage to the arterial walls.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
An individual who wants to live longer should avoid eating foods with high fructose corn syrup. While this substance can be produced easily and is readily accessible, it has a highly manipulative effect on the body. Hunger is mediated by hormones in the brain that tell the individual when to eat. Leptin is the hormone that controls an individual's satiation once they have eaten, and ghrelin is the hormone that induces hunger. Regular sugar does not cause interference with these two hormones and their processes in the body, despite its other adverse effects.
High fructose corn syrup does interfere with these hormones, effectively interfering with their function in the brain. High fructose corn syrup induces the body to place an embargo effect on leptin, which tricks it into believing it still needs food when the individual has already eaten. The individual stays hungry and never reaches the sensation of feeling completely satisfied or full. High fructose corn syrup fails at stopping the secretion of ghrelin, which also causes the individual to always feel hungry despite having eaten. These manipulations of high fructose corn syrup cause the excessive consumption of calories, which contributes to morbidity in obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Products Made From White Flour
Avoiding the consumption of products made from white flour can help an individual live longer. Despite this, most individuals consume foods made with white flour every day, such as pizza, pasta, bread, burgers, and donuts. The issue with white flour is associated with the processing it undergoes to become white flour from wheat. Endo sperm and wheat bran are removed from the wheat germ when it is processed, causing it to lose these nutrients. The white flour also drops in pH levels, causing it to become more acidic. Acidic foods tend to steal calcium from the bones, resulting in decreased bone density.
White flour is known to clog up the gastrointestinal tract because it contains no fiber. It causes the system to slow down, become congested, and eventually slows down the metabolism. White flour contains a diabetes-inducing substance called alloxan. Alloxan is known to cause damage and destruction to the beta cells of the pancreas, which is responsible for the production of insulin. Studies have proven the excessive consumption of white flour leads to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver, and mood swings.
Food With MSG
An individual can help prevent premature death by avoiding eating foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is found in processed meats, canned foods, soups, Chinese food, and numerous others as a flavor enhancement. It is a highly processed and altered form of a naturally occurring amino acid the body needs called glutamate. MSG is known to be highly toxic to cells in the body, producing adverse symptoms such as flushing, facial pressure, tingling sensations, intense thirst, nausea, headaches, sweating, heart palpitations, chest pain, and weakness. This ingredient is especially toxic to the cells in the brain, resulting in lesions that can cause neurological issues.
MSG has been labeled as an excitotoxin or a substance that excites the cells until they become extensively damaged or destroyed. It does this by promoting the rapid-fire of nerve impulses, resulting in tissue damage in vital parts of the brain. MSG has been proven to be a trigger for Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, learning disabilities, among many others.