Just Say No To Processed Food
Personally I don't believe in making New Year's Resolutions as I never stick to them! This year instead I have decided to make some moderate lifestyle changes to improve my health and the longevity of my life with simple changes to reduce and hopefully eliminate almost all processed foods out of my diet; something I can hopefully stick to by making educated choices.
We love to cook and thankfully we use the freshest ingredients money can buy at our house for the meals we prepare as well as for the recipes we feature on our blog so this won't be too much of a challenge at our house ~ I hope! We do run a busy home though with 3 grown boys who either go to school and/or work long hours. It is our hope that in 2017 we'll feature much healthier recipes on our blog; we won't be getting away from our desserts though, they are too delicious not to enjoy on special occasions.
Having said that we certainly have a problem at our home; more times than not I'll find remnants around the house of microwave dinners they'll quickly pick up on their way home or fast food bags left behind in the trash, who can blame them, they're tired and hungry and they want to grab something quick and filing and go straight to bed to fight another day without realizing exactly what they're putting in their bodies and what havoc this could wreak down the road.
In our fast paced and busy world we often don’t think what we’re putting in our bodies as we race through the drive thru, grab prepackaged and prepared foods from the grocery store simply because they’re easy, quick, readily available and cheap BUT not good for you! Our plan is to do more bulk cooking so that the kids can just take a meal out of the fridge and warm it without the empty calories and additional expenses.
Not all processed foods are entirely bad for you. There is a distinct difference between processed foods that are loaded with chemicals, preservatives and mechanically processed foods that have beenprocessed to some degree; milk has been pasteurized, meat has been ground, butter is the cream that has been separated from the milk, vegetables and fruits are frozen or canned and so on.
Those that are bad for you are those over processed with high levels of salt, sugars (fructose, corn syrup etc), artificial flavours and colours, additives and preservatives. If you read the labels you’ll be scratching your head trying to pronounce some of the chemicals added to most foods on the market. Your body just doesn’t know what to do with all this bad stuff. A great rule of thumb to follow when reading product labels is to simply stay away from foods where you can't even begin to figure out how to pronounce the name. If you can't pronounce ~ it's just not good for you!
Many of the foods on the market are so over processed with chemicals that they can cause harm to our bodies and actually cause illness and here’s how:
1. LOWERING OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Chemicals in our bodies suppress the production of new cells that help us fight off bacteria and increase the level of free radicals in our bodies making our bodies use up stored antioxidants to fight these free radicals at a faster rate depleting your immune system making it harder for your body to protect itself.
2. FRUCTOSE AND CORN SYRUP
Foods high in fructose and corn syrup sure are tasty but they're full of empty calories that can lead to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, increased levels of harmful cholesterol. High sugar consumption can lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer.
3. CAN LEAD TO WEIGHT GAIN
Chemicals interfere with how our bodies work, they don’t know how to process or break down chemicals so they store toxins in our bodies as fat. They reduce our levels of adrenalin and dopamine that allow our bodies to burn up fat.
4. INCREASED RISK OF BREAST CANCERS
Some chemicals mimic real oestrogen in your body which is normally helpful with reproductive cycles, increasing good cholesterol and strengthening bones from absorbing calcium from the blood but too much oestrogen does not allow the body to break down certain chemical oestrogen causing it to speed up growth and having too much can sometimes lead to breast cancer.
5. MAKES US MORE TIRED
If you’re feeling tired and sluggish all the time it very well could be from too many chemicals in your body from the foods you eat. Toxins lower our ability to produce energy in our bodies.
It's a scary thought as to what we're putting in our bodies without realizing the ramifications of what these foods are doing to our health so this year I'll attempt to remedy and hopefully reverse some of the harm I have done to my body by:
* Reading labels and choosing food that have: 3 grams of fat or less, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 grams of sugar, and 0.3 grams of salt; these figures are based per 100 grams.
* Avoiding foods that have fructose, corn syrup as the first couple of ingredients listed in product information.
* Eat more water soluble fiber that will keep me fuller longer and most important regular.
* Eating a 'rainbow' of foods that are all natural and high in nutrients.
* Avoid product ingredients that I cannot pronounce.
What are your plans to live a healthier lifestyle this year?