All of us today profess to be diet and health conscious but most of us, unwittingly, still end up consuming things that aren’t advantageous for our health. You have been keeping the consumption levels of the number of carbohydrates and fats at bay but you, somehow, are still not in the pink of health. Most of us may sigh in resignation and accept our fate. But that shall not be the case if you are to read the next few sentences that are present below.
The answer to your dilemma is quite simple. It is ‘Processed foods’. The supermarkets and grocery shops are full of them. There is not a place in this world where you cannot get them. Scandals and health hazards have followed it for years but we still can’t get enough of them. Processed foods are those foods whose nature is altered by the manufacturers so that they are more convenient and cheaper to manufacture and sell. You name it and they have it.
The most common foodstuffs that enter my mind are the variety of instant noodles, soups, pastas and other snacks that we innocently consume. Let us start with the most common ones that we know of. All of us have been consuming biscuits since the day we started growing teeth and for most of us it still remains our favorite snack. Also, we have grown up on 2 minutes noodles. We still stock them as a back for the 2:00 am snack or for days our kids refuse to eat roti-sabzi. And now, to add to fad we have soups and soupy noodles. But have we ever wondered that what are the various ingredients that are used in it to make them last for so long and make them irresistibly tasty? The simplest answer is sugar and sodium. Excessive amounts of sodium can make your blood pressure hit the roof and sugar means calories.
Sodium is mostly found in large amounts in canned foods and processed meats. It is also a cause of numerous heart diseases. These dangers are however mild compared to a chemical called ‘acrylamide’. Acrylamide is a chemical which is found in processed foods and scientists have been urging the food industry to cut down on it. It causes several types of cancer including bowel, bladder and kidney. It also causes infertility and loss of muscle control. The list of foods that it is found in is endless and it includes bread, instant coffee, crackers, oats and muesli.
The most common health hazards that are found in processed foods are trans fats, sweeteners and monosodium glumate (MSG). Trans fats are those fats that are extracted from vegetable oils. They are created when the vegetable oils are hydrogenated and this causes the fats to solidify. These fats are also is the cause of cholesterol which, in turn, is the root cause of numerous heart diseases. They are mainly found in chips, cookies and various sauces.
Monosodium glumate (MSG) has been involved in many scandals all around the world but food manufacturers still insist on using it in many of their products. It is, therefore, advised that one should make sure that they read the product information properly before buying it. This chemical can most commonly be found in Chinese cuisines and instant products to add that special flavor. It has been banned in few countries but is still found available in several. MSG can harm organs like the kidneys, liver and destroy your digestive system.
Processed foods which are sweet in taste contain notoriously high levels of artificial sweeteners. These chemical ridden food stuffs are widely available in the market and are immensely popular among many of us. But what we do forget while consuming them is that not only is it giving us those extra calories but it is also full of harmful chemicals which may harm our organs. They lack the nutrients and vitamins that are good for the body and they only fill up one’s stomach temporarily. High levels of consumption may lead to obesity and heart problems.
Consumption of processed foods cannot be forgone in today’s times. But, doctors and scientists all over the world urge that, we should cut down on it. Excessive intake of such products is not only harms your organs but also hampers your body’s progress towards fitness. So, be cautious and prudent the next time you pick something you think is healthy off the shelves!
Check our healthy quick and easy soup recipes – Tomato | Peas. Also, try our other easy recipes.