Processed food is everywhere. It's in our schools, supermarkets, restaurants, and grocery stores; it's even in our own kitchens. Processed food is not only easy to make, but it can also be cheaper than fresh produce. Processed foods offer convenience and affordability without sacrificing taste or nutrition value. With that being said, there are many harmful ingredients found within processed foods that might harm the body over time; this includes the brain. Here are some ways to combat processed food outside of your own kitchen.
Processed food is harmful
Processing food can lead to a loss of nutrients and an increased presence of chemicals, additives, and preservatives. This can ultimately cause adverse effects on your health in the long run, especially if you eat these types of foods regularly.
They have linked eating processed food to obesity, heart disease risk factors, high blood pressure, diabetes risk factors, dementia/cognitive impairment, increased inflammation markers, asthma risk factors for children, cancer risk factors, etc.
It's important to monitor how much processed food you eat. And below are some ways to combat it outside of your own kitchen.
How processed food can harm your brain
Someone can find everywhere processed food and is nearly impossible to avoid. The consumption of processed foods, however, has been linked with an increased risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. We have associated processed food consumption with a decreased cognitive function and poorer mental health and well-being.
The problem with processed foods is that they are high in sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, and preservatives. These ingredients contribute to increased risks of obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and hypertension. And as if those risks weren't enough to worry about there's also the effect these substances have on the brain: A new study by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) found that high consumption of processed food may lead to lower cognitive function later in life.
Conducted on mice over one year, the study found that those who had their diet limited to mostly processed food had greater accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques in their brains compared to mice who were given a variety of foods from plants or animals sources. Beta amyloid plaques are abnormal clusters of protein fragments that can clump together into plaque deposits outside neurons—most notably in Alzheimer's patients' brains—and disrupt cell function.
Processed food and the brain
Processed food can be harmful to the brain because many processed foods contain high-fructose corn syrup. It is a sweetener that increases blood sugar levels and may lead to long-term inflammation in the body.
The processed food industry also uses artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives in their products. These ingredients are present in most processed foods and can damage your memory, learning ability, and mood.
There are some ways you may combat these effects by limiting or eliminating processed food from your diet. Processed foods often contain high levels of trans fat, which can cause cardiovascular disease. Limiting your intake of processed food will not only help with preserving your mental health, but it may also help improve your heart health.
What you should know about processed foods
Processed foods can be found everywhere. They're in our schools, supermarkets, restaurants, and even grocery stores. Processed food is not only easy to make, but it can also be cheaper than fresh produce. With that being said, there are many ingredients found within processed foods that may harm the body over time; this includes the brain.
Processed food often contains artificial colors, flavors and preservatives that have been linked to increased risk of cancer and other various health complications. These chemicals and compounds can also affect your behavior and mood negatively.
In order for your brain to function properly, it needs a steady supply of glucose from dietary sugars. Artificial sweeteners found in processed foods can cause blood sugar levels to spike then drop sharply after consumption, making you feel tired or lethargic afterwards.
There are many harmful ingredients within processed foods that might harm your body over time; this includes the brain.
Some ways to combat processed food outside of your own kitchen include: using a slow cooker for meat dishes in place of canned or frozen meals, consuming seasonally grown vegetables with a high nutrient content in place of canned vegetables, browsing the frozen section for fruit pies or instant oatmeal packets.
The benefits of fresh produce.
Including fresh produce in your diet can be an easy way to combat processed food. The easiest way to do this is by choosing to buy fresh produce, which will help you avoid the harmful ingredients found in processed foods.
Eating a healthy diet is all about balance. It doesn't have to be a strict, time-consuming process that takes up a lot of energy or time. You can eat well without having to spend hours in the kitchen prepping meals and eating complicated dishes every day.
A common mistake people make when trying to eat healthier is they ditch unhealthy foods completely while not replacing them with anything else. If you're eating less junk food but still not eating enough vegetables or fruit, then chances are you're just hungry more often throughout the day because your body needs more nutrients than it's getting.