Developments in food system, food science and food technology have accelerated the production and availability of healthy beverages & nutrient foods. Consumers may acquire health benefits from some products, but they may also suffer adverse health effects and economic losses. Despite medicine, which is administered on the recommendation of health professionals, foods are chosen directly by the consumer. Food labelling has a major role in providing consumers with proper information when choosing the desired products.
This blog will discuss about the Negative Effects that Food Processing has on Health.
What are the Negative impacts on health of Food processing and Technology?
The over reaching aims of modern food industry can be generalised as processing of food, developing food technology increases the shelf life of food using preservation techniques enhancing palatibility of food and to provide adequate nutrition.
These technologies discussed above became important for the transition of food production from small-scale food producers and companies, to international corporations. They gave manufacturers the power to mass produce large quantities of inexpensive food with long shelf lives, which could be produced, stored, transported, and distributed across nations with relative ease. Furthermore, flavor technologies became critical in producing palatable foods, as the thermal processing methods needed to maintain the safety of products all but destroyed their native flavors.
With the simultaneous development of modern food ingredient and preservation technologies, new, better flavored products became accessible to the general consumer that did not require refrigeration. The low cost of sugar syrups made available through novel processes to enzymatically convert starches to simple sugars allowed manufacturers to add sugars to both improve the taste of foods and extend their shelf-life at room temperature. Salt, another flavor enhancer and food preserver newly harvested from industrialized salt-mining operations, was judiciously added to foods as well.
Processed foods are bad. They are a major contributor to obesity and illness around the world.
Now the question is how do you know that?
1. High in sugar and high-fructose corn syrup
2. Engineered for over-consumption
3. Contain artificial ingredients
4. People can become addicted to junk foodThe "hyper-rewarding" nature of processed foods can have serious consequences for some people.
Some people can literally become addicted to this stuff and completely lose control over their consumption.
Although food addiction is something that most people don't know about, I am personally convinced that it is a huge problem in society today.
5. Often high in refined carbohydratesThere is a lot of controversy regarding carbohydrates in the diet.
Some people think that the majority of our energy intake should be from carbs, while others think they should be avoided like the plague.
But one thing that almost everyone agrees on, is that carbohydrates from whole foods are much better than refined carbohydrates.
Processed foods are often high in carbs, but it is usually the refined variety.
One of the main problems is that refined, "simple" carbohydrates are quickly broken down in the digestive tract, leading to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.
6. Low in nutrientsProcessed foods are extremely low in essential nutrients compared to whole, unprocessed foods.
In some cases, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added to the foods to compensate for what was lost during processing.
However, synthetic nutrients are NOT a good replacement for the nutrients found in whole foods.
Also, let's not forget that real foods contain much more than just the standard vitamins and minerals that we're all familiar with.
7. Low in fiberFiber, especially soluble, fermentable fiber, has various benefits.
One of the main ones is that it functions as a prebiotic, feeding the friendly bacteria in the intestine.
Soluble fibre can also help treat many cases of constipation, which is a very common problem today
There is also evidence that fibre can slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and help us feel more satisfied with fewer calories
8. Require less time and energy to digestFood manufacturers want their processed food products to have a long shelf life. They also want each batch of the product to have a similar consistency and they want their foods to be easily consumed. Given the way foods are processed, they are often very easy to chew and swallow. Sometimes, it's almost as if they melt in your mouth. Most of the fibre has been taken out and the ingredients are refined, isolated nutrients that don't resemble the whole foods they came from.
One consequence of this is that it takes less energy to eat and digest processed foods.
9. Often high in trans fatsProcessed foods are often high in unhealthy fats.
They usually contain cheap fats, refined seed- and vegetable oils (like soybean oil) that are often hydrogenated... which turns them into trans fats.
Vegetable oils are extremely unhealthy and most people are eating way too much of them already.
These fats contain excessive amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids, which can drive oxidation and inflammation in the body
IN CONCLUSIONWhen we replace real foods like fish, meat, fruit and vegetables with processed junk foods, we increase our risk of illness and poor health.
Real food is the key to good health, processed food is not.