The convenience of processed foods does not justify the cost to our health.
There are many reasons to avoid processed foods...
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.
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.
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.
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]
Eat organic whenever possible and eat whole grains instead of refined flour.
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.
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.
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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