Why Cut Processed Food

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  1. Processed foods are an illusion, often appearing to be healthy (with claims like low fat, low carb, vitamin fortified, no trans fat, contains omega-3s, etc.) when these foods are in fact the very thing making a lot of Americans unhealthy, sick, and fat.
  2. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer – four of the top ten chronic diseases that kill most of us – “can be traced directly to the industrialization of our food” according to Michael Pollan.
  3. Making smarter (and sometimes more expensive) food choices now may reduce your healthcare costs later in life.
  4. Why would one want to eat a processed food-like substance that is scientifically designed to never rot?
  5. The food industry has proven that it is not very good at seasoning our foods by adding way too much salt, sugar, and/or oil to almost everything.
  6. When you eat white bread and other foods made with white flour (which is a highly processed version of wheat) you are basically consuming empty calories with far less nutrition than the whole-wheat or whole grain alternatives.
  7. It is estimated that up to 90% of processed foods* in the supermarket contain either a corn or soy ingredient in the form of an additive under a variety of different names. Now how is that for eating variety?
  8. Cutting out processed foods could lead you to experience a variety of personal health benefits such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.
  9. Rather than counting calories, watching fat grams, or reducing carbs for “healthy eating,” simply eat whole foods that, as Michael Pollan puts it, are more the product of nature than “the product of industry.” It certainly is less complicated.
  10. It just makes plain old sense to fully understand what you are eating, be able to pronounce everything on the list of ingredients (if there is a list), and know exactly where that food comes from…don’t you think?

*Statistic courtesy of a food scientist interviewed on the documentary “Food, Inc”

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471 comments to Why Cut Processed Food

  • Katlin Stewardson

    Do you have any success stories to share that include healing arthritis? I’m only 25 and pretty sure I have arthritis ( developed very quickly over the last month) and I am willing to do anything to get rid of it. I’m going in for lab work tomorrow.

    • Adri

      Katlin – I had the same symptoms, a sudden onset of arthritis pain in my hands. I got a blood test and found dangerous low levels of Vitamin D. You may have low Vitamin D-3, get a blood test, meanwhile, go to a drugstore and pick up a bottle of Vitamin D-3 supplement pills 2,000 to 5,000 IU and start taking them daily now. It would also be helpful if you spent 20 to 30 minutes exposing the painful parts to direct sunlight daily.

    • Penny

      I am 50 & had horrible arthritis in my fingers. January 1st of last year I gave up gluten, dairy & sugar & within 5 days my hands quit hurting. I still have the occasional treat but mostly compliant & the pain is gone.

    • Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      In addition to Adri and Penny’s comments, here are some great resources for eating an anti-inflammatory diet: http://www.cleancuisineandmore.com/ and http://drhyman.com/blog/2013/05/17/the-one-diet-that-can-cure-most-disease-part-i/.

    • Rebecca

      I’m 40 years old and I have arthritis. I hardly ever notice it though because I take mercola brand krill oil. If I forget for a while I can tell. Also, I trust mercola brand and haven’t tried any other brand. I don’t know if it makes a difference in the quality but I’m very happy with mercola. I actually take it to keep my pores from getting clogged. The help with the arthritis was a bonus!

  • Adri

    There are 80,000 chemicals and additives approved to be added to our processed foods such as dyes, stabilizers, color enhancers, preservatives, MSG, and virtually all processed foods contain GMO corn and soy. Many of these additives are known to cause allergic reactions, many are suspected carcinogens, some are even suspected of being neurotoxins (they mess with your brain). Virtually all processed foods are dead (cooked over 118-140 deg. which kills all the beneficial enzymes). If you value your health, you will steer clear of all processed foods. That includes bread, packaged pasta, cookies, potato chips (which are simply salt and fat delivery system), bottled juices, and canned soups. We all need to eat more raw foods for the beneficial enzymes anyway, start by eliminating processed foods.

  • Lindsay

    I was wondering if anyone has notes having side effects when switching to real food?? I have had headaches, irritability, trouble sleeping and even night sweats!

    • Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Lindsay. Are you still having symptoms? It is fairly normal for you body to go through some normal detox as you leave the chemicals in processed foods behind. The symptoms should dissipate pretty quickly. Be sure you are drinking plenty of water and talk to your doctor if you’ve not felt relief of your symptoms.

  • Carole

    Lindsay, that is classic signs of detoxing. Think of a heroin attack trying to get clean – you’ve seen the films, that’s kind of like what your body goes thru when detoxing from the chemicals found in processed foods. You feel worse before you feel better – but keep going! Drink LOTS of water to flush the toxins. Try to add fresh lemon (or lemon essential oil) to your water. It will help detox the liver. Once you get the toxins out you will start enjoying the benefits of more energy, better sleep and just plain feeling better!

  • Kelly Macauley

    I teach honors level nutrition at our local high school. Both of my classes are going to take the ten day challenge next week and the kids are excited to give it a try.

  • WOW! I too like to eliminate processed food in my family and am trying my best. Your blog sounds awesome, will follow.

  • why should some people cut down on processed food they love?

  • Zena

    Hi, I just found this blog. I have been suffering on a daily basis for the past 4 years from all sorts of allergic reactions. It seems like I’m allergic to everything I eat yet the tests for food allergies appear to be negative. I’ve also had eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, body odor, as well as sudden severe cystic acne.
    I truly beleive most skin conditions I have are from a bad diet(alot of sugars, processed foods and dairy)
    I would like to switch to a natural diet with zero processed foods but I feel soooo hungry. How do I replace bread & pasta? How do I replace tomato paste or Chicken stalk?
    Are canned foods and jarred foods safe??

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