I have long stated that if you want to be optimally healthy, you should spend 90 percent of your food budget on whole foods, and only 10 percent on processed foods. Unfortunately most Americans currently do the opposite, and their health suffers as a result.
With most foods, the closer they are to nature, the better. It’s possible to have some processed foods that are still healthy; for instance, frozen green beans have been “processed” as has butter, grass-fed ground beef, or freshly prepared almond butter.
In most cases, however, the term “processed food” refers to those that are chemically processed and made from heavily refined ingredients and artificial additives. Such processed foods are the bane of Western civilizations’ diets.
9 Reasons Processed Foods May Make You Sick and Fat
It’s not a stretch to blame processed foods for the rising rates of chronic disease and weight gain around the developed world. Why? Let me count the ways 1
1. Processed Foods Are High in Sugar and/or High Fructose Corn Syrup
This isn’t only a matter of “empty calories” causing you to gain weight without getting proper nutrition. Excess sugar consumption is linked to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
Refined fructose, typically in some form of corn syrup, is now found in virtually every processed food you can think of, and fructose actually “programs” your body to consume more calories and store fat.
Fructose is primarily metabolized by your liver, because your liver is the only organ that has the transporter for it. Since all fructose gets shuttled to your liver, and, if you eat a typical Western-style diet, you consume high amounts of it, fructose ends up taxing and damaging your liver in the same way alcohol and other toxins do.
And just like alcohol, fructose is metabolized directly into
fat – it gets stored in your fat cells, which can lead to mitochondrial malfunction, obesity, and obesity-related diseases, especially if you are insulin or leptin resistant.