Processed foods are foods that have been altered in some way before being sold to consumers. This can include things like freezing, canning, drying, or adding preservatives and other chemicals. Processed foods are often high in added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats and can be low in important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Eating a diet high in processed foods has been linked to a number of health issues, including:
- Weight gain: Processed foods are often high in calories, added sugars, and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to weight gain.
- Cardiovascular disease: Eating a diet high in processed foods has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Type 2 diabetes: Processed foods are often high in added sugars and refined carbohydrates, which can raise blood sugar levels and increase the risk of diabetes.
- Cancer: Some research suggests that consuming a diet high in processed foods may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
- Inflammation: Processed foods are often high in added sugars and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to inflammation in the body.
It is important to note that not all processed foods are unhealthy. Some processed foods can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. It is always recommended to check the ingredients list and nutrition facts label before purchasing any processed food.