We find processed foods more frequently than food and beverage products in other categories for many reasons. First, people have been conditioned to consume processed foods wherever they are, hence, it becomes the reason why they are so cheap and readily available.
Second, companies have given more thought to processing the food products that people have accustomed their tongues to. As a result, processed foods have more simplified processing step-by-step than other types of food products, including organic and natural foods.
Nonetheless, these foods are dangerous when we continually eat them. More specifically, why are they dangerous?
#1. The preservatives in them are huge contributors to cancers
Many processed foods in supermarkets and other shopping centers have preservatives. If not, the companies, supermarkets, and more treat these food products to a point that they can have longer shelf lives. Such things are also equal to preservatives – and it can happen even in premium-priced processed food products.
Health practitioners have agreed that preservatives are among the biggest carcinogens triggers. In particular, such things happen for smoked and canned food products, even though those food products only consist of vegetables and fruits (such as canned cream soups).
Some companies also use variations of parabens in their products, such as syrups for desserts, beers, jams, and more. Some of these companies clearly state the preservatives they use for their food products.
Many food companies also pair preservatives with other substances that wire our brain chemicals into the addiction to their food products. As a result, we can’t have a day without consuming those preserved food products, which means more exposure to cancer risks.
#2. Processed foods tend to contain more harmful fat content
When we talk about processed foods, we also talk about SPAM, Pop-Tarts, packaged hot chocolate products, and more. They may look and taste delicious, not to forget their prices are cheap and we can quickly prepare them. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t forget the fat content that they have.
When we look at their nutritional information and ingredients, we will know these food categories tend to contain more saturated fats. These fats are unlike the fats that build up our muscles and energize us during work.
Instead, saturated fats are the harmful fats that can block blood streams around our heart and respiratory systems when we consume them too much. In addition, processed foods in supermarkets also contain some cholesterol.
Some products even consist of triglycerides – either the company clearly states triglycerides in their products’ ingredients or they break it down into mono- and diglycerides. These entire things are the largest contributors to various health problems, from weight gain and obesity to heart attacks.
#3. Processed foods can contain lots of artificial ingredients
Processed foods are different from any other food category in that the convenience to prepare them becomes their key characteristic. Unfortunately, some manufacturing companies take the characteristics too far that we can’t always expect 100% natural ingredients when we purchase and consume processed foods.
Instead, artificial colorings, sweeteners, flavorings, and more, are things that we associate the most with processed foods. These artificial ingredients can pose several health problems when we regularly consume the foods.
Some examples are rashes on the skin (due to consuming food products with Allura red colors), vaginal discharge (due to consuming products with artificial sweeteners), and hyperactivity (due to consuming products with Sunset Yellow or Tartrazine).
Many artificial flavors can also cloud our taste buds’ judgments that we can no longer distinguish between the five tastes inside our tongue. Such things apply to people who regularly consume the food products while also eating other meals.
#4. We rarely learn the ways how the process goes
Unlike any other food categories, processed foods tend to emphasize more on their overall brand presence than explaining the companies’ ways to process the foods. So, we can’t expect transparency when we purchase and consume processed food products.
At some points, the companies can rephrase or reframe some of the food processing parts that we may not fully know how the processes are. Or, there are texts like, “This candy is produced in a manufacturing facility that contains nuts and eggs,” yet, with small sizes, we hardly read them.
We can’t even trust the labels wholeheartedly. Even knowing who gives what kinds of health certifications is not enough on its own without examining the ingredients, nutrition contents, and more.
We can also see this number-four dangerous point about processed foods through our eyes as customers. Let’s suppose we buy pasta, noodles, and the like. Then, we buy sauce products from the same company.
We may know which pasta products from this company are best paired with which sauces. We may also know the product characteristics, such as the aroma and tanginess when we become their loyal customers.
However, we may never learn about what tools we should prepare for cutting the pasta, how many times we should pull the pasta, what are the ratios of the diced tomatoes versus the onions in the sauces, and what ingredients can we substitute without diminishing the nutritional content, and many others, when we purchase and consume those processed foods.
#5. Not all people can digest these foods
It’s hard to make a healthy meal plan only from processed foods. After all, the food products themselves are already subject to many harmful ingredients, such as artificial colorings and preservatives.
Packaged tomato and chili sauces in many supermarkets are usually not the actual tomato and chili sauces. The same also goes with ready-to-eat tomato soups. Soups are meant for calming down stomach problems, but the effects can be counter-effective when the tomatoes are not tomatoes.
Some other condiments also contain gelling agents and are not gluten-free. These entire characteristics also make them dangerous, because not all people can digest them.
Some final words
So, what are processed foods? It’s not only branded and packaged foods in supermarkets, but can also take the form of pasta, noodles, and other staple foods. However, we should note that these types of foods tend to be dangerous in the long term, mainly because of the questionable nature of their ingredients.