Resisting the urge to drink that soda pop or eat those chips can be tough, especially if you have grown accustomed to eating these highly addictive foods as part of your normal diet.
But once you understand a little bit more about how these and other processed foods affect your mind, body, and even your soul, it becomes easier to make healthier food choices that enrich your being rather than sap it. Here are nine motivating reasons why you should cut processed foods from your diet for good:
1) Processed foods are highly addictive. Your body processes whole foods much differently than it does refined, processed, and heavily-modified "junk" foods. Processed foods tend to overstimulate the production of dopamine, also known as the "pleasure" neurotransmitter, which makes you crave them constantly. Your body ends up not being able to resist the temptation to continue eating junk foods in excess, which can lead to obesity and other health problems.
2) Processed foods often contain phosphates that destroy your organs, bones. Many processed foods contain phosphate additives that augment taste, texture, and shelf-life. But these additives are known to cause health problems like rapid aging, kidney deterioration and weak bones, according to the Rodale Institute, which makes foods that contain them far less attractive to those in the know.
3) Fresh foods are actually cheaper than processed foods. People with junk food addictions often claim that fresh, healthy foods are too expensive. But according to numerous studies and assessments, whole foods made from scratch end up costing less per serving than their unhealthy, processed equivalents. According to Rodale, a single serving of 100 percent organic chili made with fresh ingredients and grass-fed beef, for instance, is about 50 cents cheaper to make than buying a can of chemical-laden, microwaveable chili from the grocery store.
4) Processed foods cause chronic inflammation. One of the leading causes of chronic illness today is inflammation. And studies continue to show that refined sugars, processed flours, vegetable oils, and many other nasty ingredients commonly found in processed foods are largely responsible for this inflammation epidemic. So the next time your body craves a candy bar or a box of cheese crackers, consider the fact that heart disease, dementia, neurological problems, respiratory failure, and cancer have all been linked to the chronic inflammation caused by processed food consumption.
5) Processed foods ruin digestion. Because they have been stripped of their natural fibers, enzymes, vitamins, and other nutrients, processed foods tend to wreak havoc on the digestive tract. Chronic consumption of such foods can throw your internal ecosystem off balance, harming beneficial bacteria and exposing your system to infection. So you can basically think of those gummy bears and that piece of cake as literal poison for your system, which may help deter you from eating them.
6) Processed foods destroy your mind. If you suffer from chronic bouts of brain "fog," or have difficulty concentrating and thinking normally, chances are your diet has something to do with it. And a recent study out of Oxford University lends credence to this possibility, having found that junk food consumption can cause people to become angry and irritable. Nutrient-dense whole foods, on the other hand, can help level out your mood, sustain your energy levels, and leave you feeling calmer and more collected.
7) Processed foods are loaded with GMOs. The basic buildings blocks of most processed foods on the market today are derived from laboratories, not nature. Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), which have been linked to infertility, organ damage, gastrointestinal disorders, and cancer, are prolific in processed foods. Excess consumption of these poisons promotes weight gain, acidifies your blood, and can even permanently alter the composition and function of your intestinal flora.
8) Processed foods are loaded with pesticides. In order to effectively grow the GMOs used in processed foods, conventional farmers have to apply Roundup (glyphosate) and other pesticides and herbicides, many of which end up in the final product. According to data compiled by Rodale, breakfast cereals alone have been found to contain up to 70 different types of pesticides, including warehouse fumigation chemicals and other residues.
9) Processed foods are not actually food. One of the ways you can assess the nutritional value of food is to see how animals, insects, bacteria, and fungi respond to it. Real foods will actually rot or grow mold, for instance, while fake, processed foods remain largely the same in appearance and shape no matter what their age. As we reported recently, processed food is essentially synthetic, and the industry that produces it admits that heavy tampering and crafty modifications are necessary to make it taste real, even though it is not.