NBC released in-depth information (8/7/2019) from Registered Dietitian Samantha Cassetty after closely looking into processed foods and how they may be putting your health in danger.
Processed meat is simply said to be any meat that has been artificially altered either by chemicals or other means to make it last longer than it is supposed to. This process usually involves chemicals such as nitrates. These meats are high in fat, salt, and calories.
Dangers of processed meat
According to Hosbeg, too much consumption of processed meat can result in the following grave conditions:
- Heart disease – this has proven to be one of the most common dangers associated with eating too much processed meat. The massive sodium level in these types of meat will give you higher blood pressure and strain the heart. If this continues for long then you are on your way to suffering from heart disease.
- Cancer – The preservatives that are used in preserving these meats contain cancer-causing chemicals. Sodium nitrite is the leading chemical used.
- Obesity – eating too much processed meat can make you obese from the high levels of fat and calories. In America and Britain the consumption of processed meat is rampant. These two countries have serious issues with obesity.
- Diabetes – Nitrates disrupts the way the body controls glucose levels. If the body cannot secrete enough insulin and control glucose levels then the outcome is diabetes.
Meats aren’t the only foods that are processed. Others are canned foods, packaged foods, and even some of those healthy oats you are eating every day. So, what do we do to keep from completely avoiding a very convenient source of our daily nutrition?
According to researchers, a better way to assess how processed your food is might be to inspect the ingredient list for added sugars and industrial ingredients that you wouldn’t find in your kitchen. Examples of these ingredients include (but aren’t limited to) soy protein isolate, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, gluten, maltodextrin, inulin, and gums. These ingredients should tip you off to the fact that the product has taken a pretty long trip through a manufacturing process and have entered the highly processed zone.
You can still rely on conveniently packaged whole or very minimally processed foods, like quinoa, canned beans, nuts, nut butter, and fruits and vegetables (such as frozen, dried, or unseasoned canned versions).
- Replace processed deli meats(even chicken and turkey) with leftover dinner meats or fresh meats (like a store-bought rotisserie chicken or store-bought fresh roasted turkey).
- Consider snacking on fresh or lightly processed foods over chips and other typical fares. Examples include nuts and seeds, roasted chickpeas, yogurt, fruit, boiled eggs, veggies, and plant-based dips, like hummus and guacamole.
- Go for water or flavored seltzer over juice drinks, soda, and other sugary sips. If you’re not ready to go cold turkey, maybe add a splash of juice to fizzy water.
- Plan ahead. One thing that makes ultra-processed foods so appealing is how quickly they cook up on busy weeknights. When you have easy-to-assemble ingredients handy, you don’t need to rely on those kinds of packaged foods to solve your last-minute dinner dilemma.
Ref. MSN/nutrition, NBC News, hosbeg.com/health&fitness/lifestyle
Photo courtesy of Bing via parade.com