Processed Foods

processed_foodChef Scott suggests that most of the daily food intake be fresh. The 2nd best suggestion would be to use frozen fruits and vegetables.

Another suggestion would be to have a 90% fresh to 10% processed food ratio for daily food intake for health. It is a real shame that most Americans reverse these numbers then wonder why they are not healthy.

Below is a summary of why I believe that Processed Foods make people sick and promote obesity:

1. Processed Foods are high in sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is processed naturally in our liver. The liver can be damaged with the consumption of high amounts of fructose. Fructose can end up taxing and damaging the liver the same way alcohol and other toxins do. Just like alcohol, fructose is metabolized directly into fat. Since fat is stored in our cells, too much can lead to mitochondrial malfunction, obesity, and obesity-related diseases, especially if a person is taking insulin or leptin resistant.

2. Processed foods are designed to make you overeat. Food manufacturers have figured out how to over-ride the body’s natural ability to regulate how much is eaten, and how our bodies burn energy.

Just Google “sensory-specific satiety”.

Processed foods cause us to crave foods. In fact, when Chef Scott works with children, he educates them on this using sugar and salt. The food industry has programmed us into believing that their use of sugar and salt amounts are going to satisfy us. Meanwhile, when someone makes something fresh or from scratch, if the foods don’t have the similar amounts of sugar and/or salt, then the food doesn’t satisfy us as much. In fact, most kids won’t even eat fresh foods because they can’t relate. This is due to the food industry’s programming using sugar and salt.

This is the primary reason why the public school lunch programs are slow to change. In fact, waste is a huge deal for the public schools. Knowing that fresh foods will be thrown in the trash while students preferring processed foods. This fact costs the US government billions of dollars each school year.

3. Processed foods contain artificial ingredients. There is no way that real “food” would contain preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and chemicals that add a texture to a food.chefman-red

Some of these artificial ingredients are very controversial. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives that affect the neurological system, the brain, alter behavior, and have the potential to cause cancer. Tertiary hytylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you. That is equal to one teaspoon.

Chef Scott delivers camps, classes and workshops. Lots of kids come whose parents claim the kids are allergic to artificial colors or have other hypersensitivity, or allergy-like reactions to certain foods.

There is one artificial flavoring called diacetyl, which is often used as a butter flavoring in microwave popcorn. Diacetyl has concerning properties for brain health and is speculated to trigger Alzheimer’s disease. Genetically engineered flavor enhancers can also be listed under the artificial flavor (or natural flavor) label.

4. One can become addicted to Processed Foods. Potato chips are one of the most addictive products on the market. Are you addicted to junk food? This is a real phenomenon that is backed up by science. Processing foods modifies or removes important components like fiber, water, and nutrients, changing the way they are digested an assimilated in the body.

Unlike whole foods, which contain a mix of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber and water to help you feel satisfied, processed foods stimulate dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, making you feel good even though the food lacks nutrients and fiber. The artificial dopamine stimulation can lead to excessive food cravings, and ultimately food addition.

Oreo cookies, last year – 2013 – found to be just as addictive as cocaine or morphine.

5. Processed Foods are typically high in refined carbohydrates. Breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles amongst other processed foods quickly break down to sugar in the body. This increases your insulin and leptin levels, and contributes to insulin resistance. This is the primary underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain. Additionally, this quick breakdown causes spikes in blood sugar and insulin. This leads to a person going through a roller coaster of sugar levels throughout the day.

Warning: even if the food is labeled as “whole grains”, that is no guarantee that this is better for us since it is processed by being pulverized down into very fine flour. The chunkiness of the grain is what helps our bodies regulate sugar and insulin levels.

6. Most processed foods are low in nutrients.
Most processed foods have had all of the nutrients removed during the processing. Then food manufacturers have to add nutrients back into the foods. An example is flour. The label says “enriched”. This is what that means. Food has been processed and the nutrients have been removed, then nutrients have been re-introduced back into the food. Modern labs report that they can’t get the food back to the original nutrient count.

7. Processed foods are typically low in fiber. Most adults don’t even eat half of the US Food an Drug Administration recommended amounts of 25 – 30 grams of fiber a day. Fiber is such an important part of keeping our insides clean. A higher fiber diet also allows our bodies to absorb nutrients properly.

8. It requires less energy and time to digest processed foods. Google: “Vanishing calorie density”. What takes longer to digest? a. broccoli or b. potato chips. With unprocessed foods, it takes twice as many calories to digest the food than processed foods.

9. Processed foods are often high in Trans Fats and processed vegetable oils. This is true with fried foods, crackers, and chips. Chef Scott is not a fan of margarine. Those are examples of foods with synthetic trans fats and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Since they have the same calories as other fats, it may be that one would rather just eat butter.

Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) tend to stimulate inflammatory processes in the body, and are very chemically unstable and prone to oxidation. Excessive oxidized fats have been linked to all sorts of health problems, such as atherosclerosis and heart disease.

10. Cancer-causing Acrylamide is another major processed food risk. Processed foods contain many substances that are contrary to health and acrylamide in one of them. Animal studies have shown that exposure to acrylamide increases the risk of several types of cancer. Potato chips in particular are notoriously high in this dangerous chemical. So high, in fact, that in 2005, California actually sued potato chip makers for failing to warn consumers about the health risks of acrylamide in their products.

Summary: The real truth is just eat real foods. Fresh foods. As much as possible.

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