We get it because we’ve been there a million times, too. You get in from work and there is nothing in the fridge. You’re trying to cut out takeout food, which is why you reach for a ready meal. It’s the best of both worlds as it’s not as unhealthy as junk food and it’s quick and easy. So, it’s not uncommon to eat processed foods on a regular basis.
But, there is nothing wrong with this, right?
Unfortunately, there is because underneath the plastic film there are lots of health risks. Below are four things which will make you want to quit processed food ASAP.
High In Sugar
What?! It’s lasagna for God sake. Yep, it is, and it’s either full of sugars or its evil cousin corn syrup. In fact, there is more in some ready meals than in a can of Coke, which is disturbing. The reason is simple: the taste. After being vacuum-packed and shipped halfway around the world, the meals can lose their flavor. The sugar ensures it’s still palatable, but only just. To restrict refined sugars is essential for your health as they are empty calories. Plus, too many of them can lead to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Low In Fiber
The preparation process means processed dishes are stripped of their fiber. At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a massive problem because fiber isn’t a nutrient you hear a lot about. It’s mainly to keep digestion regular, right? Yes, it does help the intestines, but it’s also a savvy way to avoid weight gain. Fiber slows down the metabolism process which prevents the body from absorbing carbs. In short, it makes you feel full. Without it, the chances of reaching for seconds, or for a dessert, are high. The result is putting on weight and adding extra strain to your vital organs.
“Once you pop, you just can’t stop” is a famous tagline. However, it isn’t only an example of effective marketing. It’s true. Processed foods such as potato chips are made to be rewarding. In scientific terms, they release a hit of the pleasure chemical dopamine when they get into the bloodstream. That’s why you can’t put down the bag once it’s opened. Getting a fix on a regular basis can lead to health issues such as food addiction. Whether it’s ready meals or narcotics, a habit is difficult to fight.
Without food, most of us tend to get cranky. The new term is “hangry”: a mixture of hungry and angry. Turning to processed food isn’t the answer because they contain unhealthy fats. And, these fats only make mood swings more likely. The reason is that they are linked to aggression and irritability. Thanks to ready meals and junk food, you’re not going to be a nice person to be around, which can be lonely. Plus, there is the depression element which comes with bad vibes.
Are you ready to start the process of quitting pre-prepared meals?