Processed foods often get a lot of bashing in the media and contextually it deserves that bad spot light that it gets. But only Contextually.
What really is a food processing?
Food processing is one or more range of operations like the ones mentioned below:
The Confusion and Ignorance
Foods like Cheese, Bread, Beer etc which are commonly consumed are never looked at bad foods, although, they are HIGHLY PROCESSED. While on the other hand, and especially, a lot of people who consume bread, cheese and beer are the ones who cry out loud about how Protein Shakes are highly processed and toxic to the body.
The fact is, yes, some processed foods lead to health issues in case of daily or over-consumption or if abused. But Protein Shake is not what people need to fear, they provide the necessary amino acids to the body and are a great option if you are deficient in protein in your diet. You should fear highly processed foods like Bread, Cheese and Beer which post some serious risk to your health.
The Pros of Food Processing
If you look at food processing with an open mind, it actually has a lot of pros. So many people are deficient in vitamins and minerals today. And this case post a major risk to their health. Thanks to food processing, if they are deficient in vitamins, you can easily supplement it with a Multi-Vitamin supplement.
Food Processing and technology get a full 10 on 10 when it comes to Elite Athletes and Sports. A lot of Athletes, especially Bodybuilders rely on MacroNutrient and Micronutrient Supplements to up their game and improve their performance. It would be highly impossible for these athletes (Bodybuilders) to eat about 500grams of Carbs from Veggies and Oats. All they would do, is eat and might still struggle to really get in so many carbs.
Not only Athletes, by the general population also benefits with Food Technology. Vegetarians are mostly deficient in Protein and they can easily meet their Protein requirement by consuming a Protein Shake.
There are a lot of other benefits like Improved BioAvailability and Food Digestibility and Convenience that I can go on and on about.
The Cons of Food Processing
The downside of Food Processing includes:
- Loss of Nutrients
- Loss of Texture
- Formation of Undesirable Compounds
The major concern however is that Processed foods lead to an increase in consumption of Sugar, Salt and Saturated Fats. And if you are trying to lose weight, you would better want to stay away from them.
Processed Foods get a lot of flake in the media but are highly misunderstood. A large majority of the people think that supplements are processed and harmful while Bread, Corn Flakes and other Flakes and all other packaged foods are not, which is not a fact.
If losing weight is your goal, stay away from Processed Foods and as much as possible on Whole and minimally refined foods.
You might get away with consuming processed foods, but it all comes down to smart choices and being aware of which processed foods really fill in the gap in your diet and not the ones that taste good. The choice to include them in your diet would also depend on your goals, lifestyle, metabolic rate, workouts to name a few.
Processed foods are a reality and are here to stay. Be smart, learn to differentiate the good from the bad and you are good to go. I’ll talk about Food Label and about Food Choices in another article!
Till then, drop me a comment below, and if you already haven’t, get started with my Free 5 Day Weight Loss Coaching Program.