Quantcast
Food

5 Ways Eating Processed Foods Messes with Your Body

We are all guilty of craving processed foods at one point or another. It's nearly impossible not to.


Processed foods have been chemically engineered to make us crave them. Packed like bite-sized grenades that explode with off-the-charts flavor, it's well-known that processed foods can cause us to overeat and experience uncontrollable cravings. But, that's not all.

Processed foods have been chemically engineered to make us crave them.

Foods that have been chemically processed or highly refined can mess with the healthy workings of your body. Here are five areas of your body that processed foods affect.

1. Skin

Excess sugar in the diet, which often comes from highly refined grains and sugars in processed foods, can encourage the degradation of collagen and elastin in your skin. This leads to a loss of firmness, loss of elasticity and an onslaught of premature sagging and wrinkles. On top of that, the inflammation that sugar causes in the body can aggravate conditions like acne and rosacea. Natural, whole foods, like sweet potatoes or bone broth, can enhance the skin's appearance by boosting collagen and elastin production.

2. Gut

Highly processed ingredients may be killing off the beneficial flora in your gut. In conducting unpublished research for a book, one man discovered claims to have lost 1,300 species of gut flora after eating only McDonald's for ten days. While this is an extreme scenario, over time, regular consumption of processed foods could have the same toxic effect. Certain food preservatives can also have an inflammatory effect in the gut, which may lead to conditions such as IBS. Since gut microbes seem to be increasingly responsible for obesity, memory function, immune function and more, it's important not to subject them to an unfriendly, highly processed environment.

3. Hormones

Exposure to plastic chemicals, including BPAs and phthalates, can cause hormonal havoc in the body. Since all processed foods come swaddled in plenty of plastic, all those plastic chemicals could be steadily accumulating in your body. A recent study showed that consumption of fast food was correlated with increased exposure to industrial chemicals known as phthalates. Unfortunately, exposure to these chemicals can have a disruptive impact on your hormones and health, as they seep into the body easily and kick out the body's natural hormones from places they need to be. Avoid packaged foods as often as possible, especially if your hormones are already imbalanced.

4. Brain

Consumption of artificially sugar-packed foods may also be responsible for the chemical changes in the brain that can lead to depression. The brain can become addicted to the high-octane pleasure it gets from consuming that artificial flavor punch of most processed foods. When it doesn't get its "fix," feelings of depression can take hold. Processed food consumption may also increase the risk of memory problems and reduce your ability to control your appetite. The refined ingredients are simply not nourishing for your mind. Instead, eat some healthy fats from avocado or salmon to keep your memory and brain function strong as you age.

5. Blood Sugar

The hidden sugars (especially corn syrup) in many processed foods are responsible for the influx of obesity and diabetes in our population. In the short term, high sugar consumption causes insulin resistance in the body, which is when the body must create more and more insulin in order to affect cells. Insulin resistance is at the root of many modern diseases, including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, diabetes and heart disease. Processed foods are often highly refined and have very high GIs, which contributes to insulin resistance. Consume whole foods that contain fiber, protein and wholesome fats to balance out natural sugars rather than crunching on addictive, unsatisfying refined carbohydrates when you need a snack.

Needless to say, highly refined, processed foods also encourage your body to hold on to excess weight in unhealthy areas, such as the waistline. Eating mostly a whole foods diet with very limited to no processed foods is paramount to health and happiness. Putting your health first when it comes to diet will pay off in the long run.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

11 Unexpected Health Benefits of Drinking Your Morning Joe

6 Alternatives to Milk: Which Is the Healthiest?

Are Oats and Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

13 Ways Diet and Lifestyle Can Help You Live a Longer Life

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
iStock

The Hazards of EIA Energy Forecasts

Accepting the conclusions of the latest energy outlook, released last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) means also accepting certain climate catastrophe.

As we have noted before, the EIA has made a routine out of releasing unrealistic, distorted and dangerous outlooks on the future of global energy demand. These projections should come with a warning label.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular

Sci-Fi Novel Envisions Corporatocracy in a Climate-Changed Future

By Nexus Media, with Tal M. Klein

In Tal Klein's new novel, The Punch Escrow, humans have successfully tackled disease and climate change, but powerful corporations control everything. The book has created a stir among sci-fi fans, and there are already plans to adapt it to the big screen. In this conversation with Nexus Media, Klein shares his perspective on science, technology and the future of our species. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority Facebook

World's Largest Solar Park to Also Host World's Tallest Solar Tower

The Dubai government has awarded a $3.9 billion contract to construct the 700-megawatt fourth and final phase of the world-record-holding Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The project also includes the construction of an 850-foot-tall solar tower that receives focused sunlight, the world's tallest such structure once complete.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Nike

Nike's New 'Flyleather' Sneakers Are Made From 50% Recycled Leather

By Daniele Selby

Nike's new sneakers are pretty fly—and we're not just talking about how they look. The company's new Flyleather sneakers look good, feel great and are less damaging to the environment.

In 2012, Nike introduced its Flyknit technology, which recycled plastic and other material into lightweight shoes, according to GQ. With Flyknit shoes, Nike aimed to make sustainable fashion functional and trendy, and it has applied that same mentality to its new Flyleather shoes, which it unveiled this week to coincide with Climate Week.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of 15 threatened wild places profiled in "Too Wild To Drill." Florian Schulz

These 15 Unique Wild Lands Are Threatened By Extractive Industries

A new report released Tuesday by The Wilderness Society raises the alarm about wild lands threatened by extractive industries eager to exploit the resources on or underneath them, including oil, gas and coal.

Too Wild To Drill identifies 15 unique places found on public lands that are at high risk of drilling, mining and other development—and the damage and destruction that inevitably follow. These lands provide Americans with important benefits such as clean air and water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and jobs and other socioeconomic benefits.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
USGS Science Explorer page has zero search results for "effects of climate change." It previously had 2,825 items, according to climate scientist Peter Gleick.

'No Results Found': Thousands of Climate Science Links Purged From USGS Online Database

Yet another U.S. agency has deleted climate change information from its website. This time, the U.S. Geological Survey's "Science Explorer" website—a tax-payer funded online database for the public to browse USGS science programs and activities—has been purged of thousands of formerly searchable climate science links.

The startling discovery was made by Peter Gleick, a climate scientist and member of the U.S. National Academy of Science.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
New York City lights up green to stand for the Paris agreement. C40 Cities

These Companies Support Climate Action, So Why Are They Funding Opposition to It?

By Rachel Leven and Jamie Smith Hopkins

The international climate-fighting pact would create jobs, Google said. Leaving the deal known as the Paris accord would be bad for business, top executives from Bank of America and Coca-Cola argued. When President Donald Trump committed to yanking the U.S. out anyway, PayPal and Western Union countered "We are still in."

These corporate titans and at least 22 others were among those who sought to preserve the U.S.' role in the landmark Paris agreement ratified by about 160 countries. So why exactly would these 27 business powerhouses also support a GOP group that's fought to undo a key Obama-era domestic climate initiative?

Keep reading... Show less

How Monsanto Manufactured 'Outrage' at Chemical Cancer Classification It Expected

By Carey Gillam

Three years ago this month Monsanto executives realized they had a big problem on their hands.

It was September 2014 and the company's top-selling chemical, the weed killer called glyphosate that is the foundation for Monsanto's branded Roundup products, had been selected as one among a handful of pesticides to undergo scrutiny by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Monsanto had spent decades fending off concerns about the safety of glyphosate and decrying scientific research indicating the chemical might cause cancer or other diseases. And even though the IARC review was still months away, Monsanto's own scientists knew what the outcome would likely be—and they knew it wouldn't be good.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox