Processed foods extend the shelf life and the waistline as well!
I read the above quote by fitness trainer Karen Sessions the other day and thought how true it is. Processed foods are the antithesis to clean fresh eating.
Ease, convenience I get all that – but what could be more easy that picking an apple off a tree? A good rule of thumb is if your food can go bad it is good for you, if it doesn’t go bad, then it is bad for you.
We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat” – that is actually true because, every 35 days or so your skin cells replace themselves, your liver cells take about month. Your body makes these new cells from the food you eat. At least once a day your immune cell kills a cell that could have become cancerous.
The problem is that we are not eating food any more, as much as food based products. Dr Mark Hyman asks “why do we believe that we can feed our bodies’ manufactured nutrient depleted food- like substances, empty of all life and energy, and yet remain healthy? When did we come to believe that industrial chemicals and processing could replace what nature produces?” And he has a point.
The term ‘processed food’ applies to any food that has been altered from its natural state in some way, either for safety reasons or convenience. Shelf life is extended with the addition of preservatives and additives for flavour, colour, longevity, scent. I am not talking here about foods which need processing to make them safe. Some foods need processing to make them suitable for use, such as pressing seeds to make oil.
Processed foods extend your waistline because extra ingredients such as salt, sugar and fat are added to processed foods to boost flavour and to prolong their shelf life.
This can lead to people eating more than the recommended amounts for these additives because we are often not aware of what is actually IN the food we eat. These foods can, therefore, be higher in calories due to the high amounts of added sugar or fat in them.
Ann Wigmore, who was one of the earliest nutritionists and proponents of clean eating said that the food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.
Good nutrition is nourishing your body with real whole foods so that you are not hungry, you don’t feel deprived and you live life to the fullest.
You are never going to change your life and your diet towards good health until you take simple steps and change something you do every day The secret of success is found in that daily step. I have found that people are much more likely to be compliant with dietary changes if the steps are small and regular rather than being hit with one big blast of NO (medical emergencies notwithstanding) – as in no more bread, no more gluten, cut out dairy, you can have a nut every Thursday sort of thinking. Really, it’s quite simple:
Stop eating CRAP! – Carbonated drinks, Refined sugars, Additives and artificial foods, Processed foods.
You can start with something as simple as reading your labels – if you can’t recognise an ingredient you can bet your body won’t know what it is either!
Exercise regularly, eating well and staying positive has a huge impact on your state of health.