Processed food, also known as convenient food, are chemically altered food designed for ease of consumption and commercial reasons. These foods are usually transformed from their natural state into more attractive and marketable food products with added chemicals.
Processed food has a number of advantages that are very appealing to consumers such as time saving, low price, nice taste and a solution for people who do not like to cook. However, it’s important to learn and pay close attention to the negative effects that processed foods could have on your health.
While a few types of processed foods could actually be a part of a balanced regular diet (some foods even being processed to be made safer for human consumption), the vast majority of foods commercially processed are not healthy.
In general, they are very low in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants while simultaneously being high on unhealthy ingredients and calories. Studies has shown that most processed foods sold in the market today are laden with saturated fats, sodium and sugar and provide little to no nutritional value.
For this reason it is conclusive that these foods can be very harmful to the human body. When consumed without proper control they can lead to diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. Due to concerns about health problems and unhealthy weight gain, many health organizations have strongly criticized food processing. Some health experts have even opposed any form of alteration of natural foods.
Any form of food processing can affect its nutritional density. The amount of nutrients lost depends on the type of food and processing method used. For example, canned oranges possess less vitamin C than fresh oranges in their natural state.
Processed food has a bad reputation as a health risk and a great contributor to the obesity epidemic. But this does not mean that you cannot consume processed foods at all. Consuming them with caution and control (even the unhealthy ones), may allow you to maintain a balance diet.