Most chronic illnesses that commonly kill people in America today are predominantly induced by lifestyle and dietary choices.
Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even some types of cancer are just a few of the many conditions that have been linked to unhealthy eating.
Convenient Calories Leads To Obesity
Fast food and processed snacks tend to be high in calories with low-quality nutrition.
And easy-to-heat, ready-to-eat convenience makes it all too easy to overindulge. These foods are also typically designed to be excessively pleasurable (using high amounts of fat and sugar), making it difficult to resist eating them even when we’re not hungry.
The result is that you consume more calories than you need, which leads to weight gain and obesity.
And being obese puts you at a higher risk for developing conditions like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Processed Foods Are Often Made With Unhealthy Additives
Many processed foods contain unhealthy additives like trans fats, artificial flavors, and colors, and high fructose corn syrup to extend the shelf life and make them more palatable.
These and other common ingredients can have harmful effects on your health, and they’re often used in processed foods simply because they’re cheap and easy to manufacture, package, and deliver.
Children may be especially susceptible to the harmful effects of these additives, as their bodies are still developing, and smaller amounts can have a more significant impact.
More Unhealthy Foods Means Less Health-Promoting Foods
Every bite of food you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body and promote its health.
But when you fill up on unhealthy fast food and processed snacks, you’re missing out on the essential nutrients from eating whole, unprocessed foods.
These nutrient-rich foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that are essential for good health and can significantly reduce your risk of developing chronic illnesses.
In a meta-analysis of 43 medical studies investigating the effects of ultra-processed foods, not one study reported a health benefit associated with their consumption. And almost all of them found associations with multiple adverse health outcomes.
So, if you’re looking to improve your health and protect yourself from chronic disease, it’s important to avoid or minimize the amount of convenient processed foods you eat.
Cooking your meals with whole and unprocessed ingredients may take a little extra time and effort, but the added health benefits are more than worth it.