4 Processed Foods Making You Sick

A smiling family serving bowls of food at the dinner tableProcessed foods have the advantage of saving time and this makes them tempting to people who have a busy lifestyle and for those who don’t particularly like to cook. Most processed foods also come with a low price tag that is hard for many consumers to resist. However, at some point we really need to look at the hidden costs that processed foods have on our health.

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It is no secret by now that the vast majority of processed foods are not healthy. In general, they are very low in nutrients, especially micronutrients like antioxidants and vitamins, while simultaneously being high on calories. They also contain industrially engineered ingredients that can be very harmful to the human body.

Eliminating all processed foods from your diet may be quite difficult. However, you can significantly improve your healthy by eliminating the worst of the processed foods. Below, you will find a list of the 4 most unhealthy processed foods.

1. Store Bought Cookies, Cake, Muffins, and Crackers

Beyond the obvious high levels of sugar and salt, most of these products also contain trans fat. Trans fat is added in part because it is much cheaper than healthy fats and this makes them more profitable. However, trans fat is also added to prolong shelf life and to improve the texture. In fact, there are whole “food science” labs devoted to figuring out how to use trans fats and other industrial foods to achieve the perfect texture in these types of products.

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To determine if a product contains trans fat, you should not go by what it states on the front of the label. The USFDA actually allows manufacturers to label their products with “zero trans fat” if each individual serving contains less than 0.05 grams of trans fat. Many manufacturers simply reduced the size of a serving to reach this magic number. So, instead of a serving size being three cookies, they might say it is one cookie so they could put a “zero trans fat” on the label. To know for sure if a product actually contains trans fat, you need to look at the ingredient list and look for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated.” If these words appear, then the product contains trans fat.

2. Many Popular Breakfast Cereals

Do you want to know why so many breakfast cereals are “fortified” with vitamins and minerals? The reason is because otherwise they would be so devoid of nutrition, no one would want to buy them. Fortified means that the vitamins are artificially added during the processing of the food. It’s no better than taking a crunchy vitamin, and in fact, usually a low quality vitamin. For example, these fortified cereals often add a form of vitamin D that is not easily used by the human body.

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Most breakfast cereals are also loaded with sugar, or worse, high fructose corn syrup. If they contain corn, as many do, then you can bet it is genetically modified (GMO) corn because this type of corn is much cheaper and this increases their profit. GMO corn has been shown to cause tumors in rodents in a recent study conducted in Europe. Research studies have been limited in the United States and other countries because Monsanto and other biotech companies threaten scientists with lawsuits if they conduct research with their patented seed. However, there have been many anecdotal cases showing cattle and other farm animals getting sick and/or dying from eating GMO corn.