A good diet is necessary for a healthy body. It helps the body and its organs function normally, helps maintain a healthy weight, reduces body fat, provides your body with energy, and promotes good sleep. A well balanced diet should include a mix of healthy carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. This can be found in a variety of wholesome, fresh foods like meats, vegetables, fruits, dairy, nuts etc.
Unfortunately, with our fast paced and hectic lifestyle these days, many people are making unfortunate diet choices. Often, to make life easier and to make cooking simpler, they resort to buying processed food that can easily be put together to make a meal. Yes, it is simpler and faster, but is it healthy? No, it isn’t.
Why is processed food bad for health?
- It is high in sugar and calories and low in nutrients and fibre. It can, over time, lead to insulin resistance, triglycerides, harmful cholesterol and other health issues.
- Processed foods are very addictive because companies do research to see what tickles our taste buds the most. They incorporate it into their foods to encourage us to eat it more.
- It contains artificial ingredients like preservatives and additives that are not nutritious and are harmful to health.
Are refined carbohydrates bad for health too?
Refined carbohydrates are found in processed foods that are made with refined flour, which includes white bread, pasta, and biscuits, among others. They also include foods high in sugar like cookies, cake, and soda.
How does cutting out processed food and carbohydrates affect you?
Processed food is highly addictive and if you have been eating it for a long time, like any other substance, you will feel certain withdrawal symptoms like:-
When you stop eating processed food and carbs, there will be a sudden drop in the amount of sugar or salt that you were imbibing. This could result in fatigue, irritability and headaches as your body takes time to adjust to the change.
Refined carbs and processed foods are high in calories, and when you stop those foods, your body will lose weight. Remember, this isn’t an unhealthy weight loss.
Difference in taste
If you have been eating processed food for a long time, your taste buds may crave foods that are sweeter or saltier for a while. It is a learning curve for your body, but in time you will adjust and may soon actually dislike the taste of over-sweet or over-salty foods.
Changes in digestion
As with your taste buds, your gastrointestinal tract also needs time to adjust to the new diet. Increased fiber from more wholesome foods and less processed foods may initially cause some bloating or loose stools as you adjust but these are good changes and your GI will settle into the new diet.
More energy and concentration
One of the best benefits of giving up processed food is that you will feel more energized and focused.
With a little patience and a will to change, you can move towards a healthier lifestyle in no time.