About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reasons To Stay Away From Processed Foods

What are processed foods? A processed food has been altered from its original state, basically any food that nature has not made. Breads, cookies, crackers, pastas, canned foods, cereals, packaged meats, candy bars, and chips are just a few examples of a processed food.

Most processed foods are considered high in calories but low in nutritional value. This means that you are at a much higher risk of getting fat eating these kind of foods. Processed foods are linked to the obesity epidemic that is happening in our country today.

If you want to be healthy and look and feel your best, stay away from processed foods. It is one of the main reasons that we have two thirds of our population over weight or obese. If you look back to the last fifty years, people began to get fat with the inception of processed foods.

Fast foods are some of the worst processed foods. They contain high amounts of sodium, sugar, and fats, to keep people coming back for more.

Processed foods have things in them like BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) which are used as preservatives. These two ingredients are currently being investigated for their potential to promote cancer.

Sulfites are common in processed foods and are known to aggravate asthma. Artificial coloring is linked to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), asthma, and skin conditions.

Artificial Sweeteners also common in foods that are processed, can lead to an accumulation of formaldehyde and methanol in the intestine. Methanol is used in anti-freeze and formaldehyde is used as an embalming preservative. Hmmmm, I don't think I want either of those in my body if I am still alive.

Pesticides are found in fresh and processed foods. Neither is good. Studies show foods with pesticides can lead to genetic damage, causing cancer, particularly in growing children.

Trans-fats are another horrible ingredient in processed foods. However the government has now put legal limits on the amounts that can be used in our foods. I say zero amount would be O.K. Trans-fats increase the bad cholesterol and decrease the good cholesterol, and are also linked to cancer.

White flour, white sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, are found in many processed foods. Once again lots of calories and no nutritional value. Remember we eat for nutrition as our number on priority. If your diet consists largely of processed foods, you may be at risk of having poor nutrition, which could cause you to be at risk of disease and poor health.

It is no wonder that there are so many people who experience cancer, heart disease, ADHD, ADD, autism, and numerous other diseases. How much of that is due to what we have been eating in the past fifty years?

There are some processed foods that are not as bad. Read the food labels before you buy anything that is in a package, box, or bag. If you can not pronounce or have no understanding of what is in that food, I would recommend not buying it. If the ingredients are natures foods and not chemicals, it will be a better choice.

I eat cereals that have whole grain with no preservatives, artificial colorings, or artificial flavourings in them. They have not been fortified or enriched. That means vitamins and minerals have been added after the original ones were processed out.

Our bodies know what to do with natures foods, but not how to deal with the chemicals that are in processed foods. These kinds of foods are not promoting health and lower body fat, they promote the opposite, obesity and illness.

As much as you can, choose natures foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and lean meats, foul, and seafood. These are the foods that will keep you feeling good and looking good. We need to do what we can to avoid disease. Staying away from processed foods might help in that quest.

We can choose health or we can choose to be unhealthy by what we are eating. Eating less processed food and more of natures foods will help you to choose health. I promise you will feel and look better for it.

Till tomorrow,

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