• Vanessa Vanelli

Just say NO to processed foods

We know they’re bad for us, but we eat them anyway. Those processed foods that taste so good, but offer very little in return. In fact, what do they offer us? As Joe Rogan puts it, “Thirty seconds of mouth pleasure.” They may taste so good for a moment, but they cause short-term and long-term damage to our bodies and do not provide any nutritional benefits.

In my opinion, when we eat these foods, it’s as if we’re doing a line of cocaine. The sugar in these products are very addictive and give you a high, causing you to crash shortly after, only to be re-visited with an intense craving to do it again. A vicious cycle.

This isn’t breaking news, but here’s a reminder anyway. In this article, we’re going to break down carbs, and maybe by the time you’re finished reading it, you will choose differently the next time you’re tempted to reach for processed foods.

Carbohydrates are what we need to energize our bodies, but not all carbs are the same, and if we eat too many of the bad ones, we're putting ourselves at risk for many health problems.

We have healthy carbs (aka complex carbs), this includes:

  • Vegetables and fruits

  • Whole grains

  • Beans

  • Brown rice

  • Whole wheat pasta

These foods provide us with vitamins, fiber, and minerals. This means we are:

  • Providing our bodies with essential nutrients to keep us functioning well

  • Sustaining our bodies (feelings of fullness) for 2-3 hours or more at a time

  • Regulating our blood sugar levels, releasing energy slowly throughout the day

We have unhealthy carbs (aka simple/refined/processed carbs), including:

  • White: flour, bread, rice, and pasta

  • Sugar (think soda, flavoured yogurt, ice cream, mixed drinks)

  • Pizza dough

  • Sweets like pastries and cakes

  • Breakfast cereals

These food options have been stripped of any nutritional value (no fiber, vitamins and minerals) so there is absolutely no benefit to our bodies when we ingest these types of foods. These are referred to as empty carbs and empty calories.

Because of this, we are:

  • More likely to overeat these foods because we won’t feel full

  • Hungry again within 1-2 hours of eating because the lack of fibre causes them to be digested quickly

  • Likely to get fatigued, and are

  • Susceptible to cravings due to rapid blood sugar spikes and dips

And honestly, the endless list of health problems that can develop may scare you enough into limiting these foods altogether:

  • Weight gain, belly fat, obesity

  • Heart disease

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Osteoarthritis, joint issues, inflammation

  • Stroke

  • Hypertension

  • Depression

So what do you think? Will you think twice and be more mindful the next time you are faced with processed foods?




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