Processed food is part of our life. Very convenient, time saving and tasty are few qualities to list. In old days food was not available so abundantly. Basic food availability was limited due to various reasons. In times of calamities processed food has served the purpose, but in today’s time it is a major business. This food business is affecting our health.
Processed food is anything which comes in packaging; food which has undergone some treatment like drying, freezing, frying etc. Basically such processing increases its shelf life. To increase shelf life further, sugar and salt are added as main ingredients which serve as preservatives.
SUGAR, SALT AND FATS are basic selling points for food industry! They are addictive!!
You can look at any popular processed food – chips, cookies, bakery good, dairy food all are rich in either sugar, salt fat or all three.
Now from your health perspective SUGAR, SALT AND FAT have major impact on your health. If you consume access sugar, fat or salt it results in lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease or even cancer.
In our day to day practice we recommend MAXIMUM 20 grams sugar, 5 grams salt and 30 grams fat consumption (for a normal individual). When you include any of these processed foods in your diet, your consumption for salt, sugar fat is almost doubled. And if this is followed for weeks, months and years, it has negative effect on your health and results in obesity or increased weight.
In normal day following is the routine where processed food is infused unknowingly:
Morning – Many people start the day with biscuits (even if it is high fiber biscuit it contain sugar and fat), kids consume milk additives (such as Bournvita which is 70% sugar!)
Breakfast – Bread, Oats, Breakfast cereals, cheese, butter etc is used. Such foods lack fibers and essential micronutrients.
Lunch – Majority of the times foods such as pickles, sauce, jam, papad, farsan accompany meals. If you eat out then again it is processed food. Home cooked food is better than that.
Similar way it goes on till the dinner.
Processed food was introduced to make our life easy. It saves our time – cooking time. But it should not benefit us at the cost of our HEALTH! Majority of the population especially in urban areas is trying to lose weight. People spend thousands and lacks on their weight loss regimen. But till the time we do not change our eating habits we will not be able to achieve our health goals. Processed food is pervading cause of obesity. And only WE can protect ourselves from its ill effects by not consuming such foods!