We love processed food. Let’s not deny it. They are tasty, versatile, and relatively inexpensive. From the manufacturer’s point of view, they worship their processed food. And why wouldn’t they? That Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar in the convenience store was made 9 months and will sit there for many months until purchased. How can it do that? It is shot up with preservatives to keep it “fresh” so the processed food inventory rarely gets rancid or perishable. Let’s talk about the common toxins in processed foods.
Why do we need to talk about the common toxins in processed foods? Simply, they affect our health. If you look at the most popular processed, junk foods they share four or five ingredients. Whether it be pastries (like Hostess or Little Debbies), cookies, granola/breakfast bars, and even chips. Let’s go through these common toxins in processed foods.
Flour (or Corn Meal)
Flour is as ubiquitous as the rays of sun which shine upon us. Milled wheat, flour is found in practically every processed food. Let’s roll through the litany. Muffins, bagels, bread, pasta, pancakes, waffles, cookies, cakes, pies, breakfast bars, crackers, some cereals, et al. It is practically every middle aisle food! The issue with flour is that it stems from wheat.
Wheat contains the protein, gluten, in which estimates show to which 70% of the population has some sort of sensitivity, like “brain fog,” abdominal pain, weight gain, and alike. Even if you aren’t beleaguered by those maladies, flour simply doesn’t boast a lot of nutrients. It is high in calories and pretty much low in everything else. For homemade baked goods try non-wheat flour alternatives. Click HERE to see our Review of non-Wheat Flour Alternatives or click HERE to listen to the Holistic Health News episode on it.
Incidentally, I include corn meal here as well. Why? Many chips, such as Cheetos, Fritos, and Doritos are made from it. Corn meal is GMO and is utter crap.
Industrial-Grade Vegetable Oil
The most surprising of the common toxins in processed foods. People are amazed to learn that vegetable oil is found in foods they wouldn’t suspect. Go through that aforementioned list and you will find vegetable oil typically as the 2nd or 3rd ingredient. And we are not talking about olive, coconut, or heaven forbid, avocado oil.
Industrial Grade Vegetable oils are canola, corn, soybean, cottonseed, or palm oil. If you peruse the ingredient list of many packaged foods, you will see that they write “corn, canola, and/or soybean oil.” They don’t even know which is in their food!
The most unctuous of the common toxins in processed foods, these oils are highly refined and super cheap to put in the foods. Food makers put it into their chips, energy bars, crackers and alike to make the product soft and keep it intact at room temperature. The problem is that industrial grade vegetable oils reeck havoc on the heart and leads to a host of cardiovascular diseases. Stay away from them. Listen to this HHN episode on them.
The sweetest of the common toxins in processed foods. Everything has corn-based sugar in it. Even your spicy chips! But certainly your pastries, cookies, crackers and alike. Since corn is subsidized in America it is cheaper to use as a sweetener than actual cane sugar. The insidious thing is that food makers use code words to cover up how much corn-based sugar sweeteners they use in their food item. “Dextrose,” “Maltodextrin,” “Maltose” are just a few.
Click HERE to see a more-exhaustive list. No need to say but sugar, especially highly refined high fructose corn syrup, leads to obesity, diabetes, cardio diseases, cancer, and a host of other problems. Avoid.
The most colorful of the common toxins in processed foods, food dyes are everywhere. Every middle aisle food has “caramel color” or “color followed by number” such as Red 40. These food dyes originate from petroleum and as such are dirty cheap to use. They not only bring color, but they bring consistency to foods. Food makers could use natural food dyes like turmeric and paprika but they are more expensive so they stick with petroleum-based dyes. The problem with them is that they are DIRECTLY linked to developmental problems like ADD/ADHD and certain types of cancers. Click HERE to learn more.
The “freshest” of the common toxins in processed foods, without preservatives the food makers would be losing money hand over fist. They must shoot up their foods with potassium sorbate, sodium nitrate, and alike to keep their item “fresh” on the shelves for as long as possible. Every wonder how that bacon or sour cream and of course all baked goods, cookies, candies, and alike can stay on the shelves for so long?
Morticians say the human body is decomposing slower than it has ever been because of all the preservatives we eat. They are preserving us!! Gas stations and convenience stores stay in business and make profits not because of the gasoline they sell, but rather the overpriced, never expiring junk food inside. Preservatives, most famously sodium nitrate, has been linked to colon and pancreatic cancer.
These are the most common toxins in processed foods. Next time you buy a packaged snack I guarantee you it will continue flour, sugar, vegetable oil, food dyes, and at least one preservative. Indubitably.
The solution is try to eat cleaner, more Paleo-aligned diet. Click HERE to learn more. Limit your processed foods. Remember “If God didn’t make it…don’t eat it.”
Listen to a great compendium episode on HHNs about 3 Common Toxic Ingredients Found in 90% of Processed Foods.
“The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” as Jesus told Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane when Peter fell asleep after Jesus asked him to stay awake. We are flawed humans, but with perseverance and self-discipline we can overcome our limitations by resisting the temptation to eat this crap food. You can do it!