Processed foods have taken up a major portion in the kitchen cabinets and refrigerators in many households. Though they are very tasty, it may cause severe health problems. When food items are processed, its nutritional qualities are lost. These foods, loaded with preservatives and other additives, cause serious health problems.
As the processed foods do not have any healthy fibers in them, these food items get digested soon and are turned into glucose. This shoots up the blood sugar levels and the body is forced to produce more insulin. All these may eventually lead to obesity and diabetes. Your hunger pangs too wouldn’t be satiated as there aren’t any fibers in the processed foods. It will also lead to over-eating.
Loss of nutrients
When the food items are processed vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and the phyto chemicals in it are lost. Besides, thiamin – 77, vitamin E – 86, folic acid – 67, magnesium – 85, zinc – 77, calcium – 60 and so on disappear in corresponding percentages.
The oxy-cholesterol contained in the processed foods increases the level of cholesterol and may lead to atherosclerosis or plaque formation inside the arteries.
Processed food increases the rate of triglycerides which is a major type of fat that is deposited in the body.
The intensity of the food processing may increase the risk of health hazards that it may cause. The high fructose corn syrup that is added for sweetness and oils like the vanaspathi are harmful for health.
Ill-effects of all purpose flour (maida)
The all-purpose flour is the most dangerous among the flours. Majority of the fast food items like porotta and bakery snacks are made using the all-purpose flour. Sugar too is added, in huge quantities, in many tasty snacks. Medical experts say that both adults and children should avoid eating food that is cooked with the all-purpose flour.
Most of the snacks that we eat regularly are processed foods that are high on calories and low on nutrients. It is always healthier to include organic and fresh food items in your daily diet. Cashews, almonds, walnuts and organically grown fruits and vegetables are packed with all the essential nutrients that keep you healthier.
(The writer is an expert in public health and has written many medical books. He is currently working at the Shantiniketan Hospital.)