Processed Foods Avoidance

Processed Foods Avoidance: Overview

The convenience of processed foods does not justify the cost to our health.

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Why it is Recommended

There are many reasons to avoid processed foods...

  • They Ruin Your Taste. Processed foods often contain refined sugar, extra salt, and other flavor enhancers.  Not only are these potentially unhealthy, but they dull your taste buds to natural flavors.  The result? A need to eat more processed foods to get the taste you want, and natural foods that don't taste as good as they should.
  • Unhealthy Additives. Unhealthy chemical additives are added to foods so that they will stay fresh longer or to enhance color.
  • Hidden Ingredients. Processed foods often contain hidden sugar, salt and fat.  All three of these contribute to health problems.
  • Mystery Ingredients. Many processed foods are filled with strange, indistinguishable parts and pieces.  For example, hot dogs contain "edible offal": animal skin, snouts, ears, esophagi, and worse.
  • Lost Nutrients, Empty Calories. Processing takes a lot of the nutrients out of otherwise nutrient-rich foods.  You get less of what your body needs.
  • Fortification Through Synthetics. To make up for the loss of nutrients during processing, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added.  Although helpful, these synthetics are not as healthy as their natural counterparts.
  • Market Forces. When you spend money on processed foods, you encourage growth in this market.  spending your money on fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, encourages others to enter this market.
  • Expense. Although fruits and vegetables often appear to be expensive, they are often less expensive than processed foods, particularly when the nutrient content is considered.  Frozen vegetables, for example, often cost 50% more than their fresh equivalents.
  • They're Dead! Much of the goodness is cooked or processed out of our foods.  We do not benefit from the enzymes and nutrients the foods normally contain.  Dead foods = Dead cells!

On This Page

Processed Foods Avoidance:

Processed Foods Avoidance can help with the following:

Allergy

Diet

Salt Sensitivity

Processed food often has salt added as a flavor enhancer to encourage product sales.  Significantly reducing processed food consumption is always a good idea.  The general rule is that any food in a package has had salt added.  Look at the labels on the food that you eat.  If the sodium content per 100gm is greater than 0.2gm, the food is high in salt.

Excess Salt Consumption

Processed food often has salt added as a flavor enhancer to encourage product sales.  Significantly reducing processed food consumption is always a good idea.  The general rule is that any food in a package has had salt added.  Look at the labels on the food that you eat.  If the sodium content per 100gm is greater than 0.2gm, the food is high in salt.

Carbohydrate Craving

Be selective about the carbohydrates you eat.  Avoid nutrient-stripped foods made of white flour, white rice, refined sugar and highly concentrated sweeteners.  Look for foods rich in fiber, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, which level off blood sugar.

Lab Values

Metabolic

Hypoglycemia

Refined carbohydrates are more readily absorbed than unrefined, and should be avoided in those with any glucose intolerance.

Migraine/Tension Headaches

Unhealthy practices such as drinking coffee and soft drinks, eating sweets and other nutritionless foods contribute to the problem.  When migraine and tension headache patients are placed on low-protein, natural plant-based diets, with no refined sweets of any type, they often recover within a month, never needing medication or further treatments to control their condition.  If improvement is not complete, other detoxification techniques should be employed.  When diet change has not yet produced its full effect, the use of cold and pressure are usually the most effective and practical means to control the pain.

Meniere's Disease

Among individuals with Meniere's disease who replaced refined carbohydrates in their diet with high-fiber, complex carbohydrates, tinnitus frequently improved or disappeared.  [Hyperlipoproteinemia, hyperinsulinism, and Meniere's disease.  South Med J 1981;74: pp.1194-7]

Musculo-Skeletal

Poor Bone Health

Eat organic whenever possible and eat whole grains instead of refined flour.

Nutrients

Organ Health

Diabetes Type II

Many doctors and researchers agree that the regular consumption of tasty, mostly modern, commercially processed foods is the primary cause of adult-onset diabetes.  Consuming anything sweet, regardless of its calorific content, may be sending a signal from the mouth to the brain that more insulin is needed.

Reproductive

Skin-Hair-Nails

Dandruff

Refined carbohydrates in white flour or sugar can cause dandruff and should be avoided because they deplete the body of B-vitamins.

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Processed Foods Avoidance can help prevent the following:

Aging

Alzheimer's Disease

Keep your weight down, and keep simple sugars and refined carbohydrates to a minimum.  Researchers have found that diabetes mellitus (for which these are risk factors) nearly doubles the risk of developing both vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Tumors, Malignant

Stomach Cancer

Watch out for cured/smoked foods.  Foods such as pickles, ham and bacon should be consumed less.  The high rate of stomach cancer in Japan has been traced to the large amount of smoked fish in the Japanese diet.  Also, Asians who eat a traditional diet – with lots of salt-cured, pickled and smoked foods – have a high rate of stomach and esophageal cancer.  Use herbs and spices to season foods instead.

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KEY

May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Moderately useful: often helps with; often prevents
Moderately useful:
often helps with; often prevents
Very useful: is highly recommended for
Very useful:
is highly recommended for