Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dangers of Processed and Refined Foods

Fast food. Pre-packaged meals. Grab-and-go snacks. Our society is so hurried, so obsessed with doing everything as quickly as possible, that unhealthy convenience foods have become the norm, while a healthy, natural diet has become unorthodox. But while we may be saving time in the kitchen, we’re actually shaving time off our lives by filling our bodies with dangerous preservatives, additives, trans fats, and excess sugar. Along with convenience, we’re getting food that’s been bleached, stabilized, softened, sweetened, texturized, emulsified, preserved, or colored – or all of the above. Valuable nutritional content is leached out and unsafe chemicals are poured in.

Our bodies are not biologically designed to effectively deal with the artificial ingredients that are so common in today’s typical diet – and they respond by letting us know in the form of various health problems. All sorts of unpleasant maladies can be linked to our ingestion of processed and refined foods, from acne, tooth decay, and water retention to highly serious consequences such as obesity, heart attacks, cancer and diabetes.

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has compiled a comprehensive, user-friendly guide to food additives (; it lets consumers known which are safe and which to avoid. But whenever possible, you can ensure you’re cutting down on harmful additives by choosing foods that aren’t bagged, boxed, canned, or jarred, and buying certified organic. And if you must purchase processed food, read the ingredient list: if it’s hard to pronounce, don’t put it in your body!


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