How Pre-Packaged Foods Can Harm Your Health
As humans, we tend to be attracted to things that look elegant and are in shiny packages. We live in an age where everything is packaged and processed- even our food! Unfortunately, today over half of our meals are either pre-packaged or prepared in advance, by someone other than ourselves. Prior to the pre-packaged food revolution, households would use natural methods to preserve fruits and vegetables for months on end. With our ever-changing lifestyles, consumers began requesting food with longer shelf lives and less prep time. Our fast-paced lives make it almost impossible to prepare healthy meals for our families, but the truth is that the pre-packaged foods we’re consuming are not only hurting our health, they’re actually a harmful alternative to healthy, wholesome food.
1. Additional Additives and Chemicals:
Every processed or pre-packaged meal that we consume contains some sort of chemicals or additives that can harm your health in the long-run. Think about it- How can food possibly have a months-long shelf life at the grocery store without going bad? Even the packaging that many of these meals come in have come under fire recently for chemicals which can seep into food from packaging containing BPA. Although the pre-packaged food industry and grocery chains make billions of dollars in profit annually, it’s coming at the cost of our own health.
2. Consumption of Fatty Foods
Most pre-packaged foods contain a high volume of fat, especially harmful trans-fats. Trans-fats actually help foods to maintain their shelf life. Think of hydrogenated oil, outlawed in most states by fast-food establishments, as the worst trans-fat, yet it is usually a primary ingredient in most pre-packaged food for its shelf-life extending capabilities. Consuming these foods can lead to high cholesterol, heart disease and/or stroke. 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States can be attributed to heart-disease related issues. That’s over 610,000 deaths per year!
3. Negative Effects on Your Diet
Many weight loss centers actually recommend pre-packaged foods as a part of their diet regimen! Although pre-packaged meals can reduce weight by limiting portion sizes and calorie consumption, in the long-term they do nothing to help you with the underlying issue- You can’t eat this way forever. You’ll need real food to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Chemical-aided food can negatively affect your diet routine and it could even make you put on the pounds. Alternatively, most required vitamins and nutrients are eliminated when food is processed and packaged.
4. It is Expensive
Pre-packaged meals are not only unhealthy, but pricey too! The packaging process accounts for up to 50% of the cost of the food! Furthermore, the need for non-degradable packaging causes harmful problems for the environment and increases our carbon footprint and expands our landfills, where it can take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Why pay 50% of the cost simply for the packaging it comes in when you can buy re-usable containers and bring your own healthy food?
More and more experts are convincing wise consumers to avoid chemically-laced foods. Pre-packaged meals should only be used as a temporary fix. They should never be used as the basis for your diet as it’s not teaching your how to really learn to eat for yourself. If you want to lose weight, start by eating real food. Just because real food takes time to prepare and doesn’t come in brightly marketed packaging, it’s always a better option than unhealthy pre-packaged food.
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