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This blog is another opportunity to feel grateful and thank you dear Universe: You continue to bless me with recovery and overall health.
Hamburgers are not my favourite anymore!!
Please note: I am not against any company, or the use of any product. Though the subject is vast however my idea through this blog is to share how harmful chemicals that are used in our day-to-day eatables cause some hidden and known health conditions. This is food for thought for the readers who could make simple changes to live healthier.
I was shocked to know that a McDonald’s burger survived for 20 long years. Yes!! You heard it right. In 2020 a news went viral about David Whipple, a man who bought a McDonald’s hamburger in 1999 and discovered it looked the same even after 14 years.
My research on the subject started when I was asked to stay away from synthetic chemically processed food. I might have expected to be in the proverbial pink of health when diagnosed with a rare disease, Isaacs’ Syndrome (a neuromuscular condition stemming from muscle hyperactivity), Lyme disease (a bacterial illness transmitted by ticks), Glaucoma (which damages the optic nerve), and Membranous Glomerulonephritis (a progressive kidney disease).
Any food that is made to change its natural state is called ‘Processed food’. Altering its natural state could include food that’s been cleaned, cut, chopped, heated, frozen, pasteurized, cooked, dried, or packaged, and even includes adding food additives, flavours, etc. There are different kinds of Processing from Minimally processed to Ultra-processed food that are done to make the food easily accessible to be used in our kitchen or done to food sources by adding preservatives, colours, etc that do not require further preparation.
Today, for most companies the key idea is to create an appealing product, hire a good marking team, and claim the end result under the logo: ‘Natural’. Frankly, I had never paid attention to checking the labels and identifying the difference between chemically processed and natural food. The Ultra Processed foods are basically industrial creations and among my favourites were cookies, potato chips, popcorns, packaged bread, and ice creams. Also, I had little idea that constant use of these eatables could even cause chronic ailments and therefore, to begin with, I researched and thought of making some practical changes as regular use of these food items had visible effects and were gradually building up to my poor health.
- My tongue craved for more: as these foods are highly processed with added sugar, salt, and additives it gets difficult to stay away from them.
- Lacking the Nutrition science: like key vitamins and minerals.
- I was gaining unhealthy weight with compromised energy levels.
- Diabetes: though a lot of it was medicine induced however it there were other supporting factors to be blamed.
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein): the bad cholesterol levels became high.
- Metabolic rate: got disturbed and the reports clearly stated issues with my gut.
- Calorie dense
- Got tired easily with more panting.
Though in today’s busy world, it is impossible to avoid processed food as it has become a part of our daily diet and is an inexpensive source however eating ultra-processed food in large quantities with the presence of synthetic chemicals could tremendously increase health risks. After reading about them I try staying away from:
- Added Sugar
- Texturing agents
- Chemicals used as Flavour enhancers.
- Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite
- Artificial colour
- Trans Fats
- Refined Carbs
- Some harmful chemicals that are used in our day-to-day food are: L Cysteine, Bisphenol A and similar compounds, Polyisobutylene, Carmine, Phthalates, Castoreum, Perchlorate, Bisphenols such as BPA, etc.
Though chemicals are everywhere, and it is almost impossible to completely eradicate them from our food platter however I adopted these simple ways to put things right:
- Said no to Fast food and kept healthy snacks handy.
- Preferred Home cooked food but did not eliminate dining out.
- Focused on locally grown vegetables more organic in nature.
- Preferred fresh rather than canned Fruits.
- Soaked fruits and vegetables either in little baking soda or vinegar before use.
- Strictly stayed away from Synthetic food additives.
- Glanced through the packing labels before buying.
- Started using glass jars instead of plastic for kitchen spices etc.
- Added Cereals, Berries as a part of breakfast.
Though we have gone too far in consuming food items prepared with low-cost ingredients in the form of Ultra Processed food yet it’s not late to educate ourselves and stop compromising the health of our loved ones. In my experience, the initial shift was quite difficult as my body was used to a particular eating pattern and therefore, I made changes very slowly and did not eliminate processed food completely from my diet. I realized making a slow change was more sustainable and effective and gave me enough time to choose from the available options and not compromise on my taste buds.
My doctor once mentioned that Genes are the code for almost everything in our body. The dormant ones do not have any effect and determine diseases on their own when activated. Nutrition is the key factor that determines the activity of genes.
Having an awareness of what and when we consume can help create a healthy us.
The views expressed above in this article are the author’s own and do not represent any kind of medical advice.