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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

8 Processed Foods to Avoid and Why

Processing refers to canning, milling, dehydration, cooking or freezing any food item. This is usually done to increase the shelf life of a product. 

 But by definition, the moment something is processed, it will be start losing its original form. 

Avoid processed foods as much as you possibly can

1. Bacon, salami, sausages and other processed meats

The World Health Organisation(WHO) recently labelled processed meats as being carcinogenic to humans. It said that there is sufficient evidence to prove that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer. This does not necessarily imply that you can no longer have even a slice of bacon on the side, once in a while. WHO specifies that 50 grams of processed meat eaten daily, increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.
2. Bread
The big scandal in 2016 with regards to bread manufacturers in Delhi using Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate in their bread raised the alarm on this one. It is not magic which ensures that the supermarket bread lasts for up to a week whereas home-made bread goes stale so quickly. It is due to the preservatives and additives which are loaded in. If you cannot avoid bread altogether, try to switch to a local baker, after confirming with them what all ingredients go into their bread. As a standard rule, any bread that lasts too long, should be avoided
3. Ketchup
.Ketchup is just tomato sauce, right? And tomatoes are healthy, so why avoid this, you ask? Ketchup is as far from real tomatoes as I am from becoming the next Queen of England. It contains copious amounts of hidden sugar, which makes it addictive besides being unhealthy
4. Pasta sauce and other pre-made sauces
I make a mean Marinara sauce. But let me confess, it takes me the better part of my day to stew it on low heat and get it perfect. The other option is to just pick a jar of marinara sauce or any other, from the nearest grocery store. But that is an option that you should not choose. As with most ingredients listed here, these sauces are full of emulsifiers, preservatives and many other undesirable ingredients. Thus, what you are feeding your family may be completely devoid of any nutrition, despite your best intentions.
5. Cereal

Cereal is healthy breakfast, right? Depends on what cereal you’re eating. The level of processing of the cereal and the ingredients added in, could take thishealthy breakfast to the other end of the spectrum. Hidden sugar is the most common culprit according to a Global Consumer Reports Study conducted across 32 nations. Also, the grains used in the cereal are highly refined, stripped of their nutrition, and refortified again. The ‘extrusion’ process used to make cereal alters the structure of the amino acids of the grains, often making them toxic.    
6. Colas and all similar carbonated drinks
 There are so many reasons you should avoid carbonated drinks that it would perhaps be fodder for an entire article. They rot your teeth, contain unimaginable amounts of sugar, have absolutely no nutritive value and dehydrate the body over a long period of time due to high sodium, sugar and caffeine levels. If you thought that the packaged juices are any better, you are far from the truth. They usually are just water and sugar mixed with fruit concentrate. Eat your fruits instead, they are more nutritious that way.
7. Salad dressing
Similar to ketchup and pasta sauces, the salad dressings you see on the shelf are all pumped with emulsifiers, trans fats, sugar and many chemical ingredients. It is easy to make a salad dressing from scratch at home. Some extra virgin olive oil and a few other ingredients like mustard sauce or honey are all you need
8. Refined flour, white rice and other grains
.While shopping, be careful that you choose the least processed version of whichever grain you prefer. If you like chappatis, pick whole wheat or multi grain flour (or get your own flour ground at the local mill). Red rice or Brown Rice is healthier than white rice. Even if you’re trying new flours likebuckwheat or quinoa, try to get the ones which are least processed (and thus grainier in texture rather than super-fine).

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