DISADVANTAGES OF FOOD PROCESSING
Unless we live on a farm, unlikely that we eat only unprocessed food. Nearly all food purchased in the grocery store undergoes some processing, whether it preservative to improve a product's shelf life, spray to improve the appearance of a fruit or colouring get the food look attractive. Some processing, like pasteurization, obvious benefits in reducing disease risk, while other have no benefits besides adding higher sodium or sugar content to a product to make it taste better.
Processed foods lose a fair amount of the vitamin content. This also happens with fresh foods unless eaten quickly, but freezing, canning or otherwise altering foods, so they last longer results in nutrient losses. Just growing vegetables and fruits in fertilized soil can reduce the vitamin C content in the final product. Blanching foods before freezing also removes water-soluble vitamins like B complex and vitamin C. Milling grains removes the husk, which contains most of the vitamins, while peeling fruits and vegetables can also removes vitamins that lie close to the skin's surface.
Preservatives and additives enhance flavor, and taste rarely contain any nutritive value and in some cases, causes cancer or other diseases. Sodium nitrite gives processed meats such as hot dogs and lunch meat the characteristic pink color and prevents growth of bacteria that cause botulism. However, nitrites can also make nitrosamines, chemical that may increase the risk of cancer in animals and humans.
Processed foods have high levels of food additives, some are harmless, but many have undesirable health effects.
What are food additives?
They are substances that food manufacturers add to a wide variety of foods to preserve the flavor or improve the taste and appearance of processed foods. Artificial food colorings, added for the purpose of making food look more attractive, also been implicated as possible cancer-causing agents. They are commonly used to prolong shelf lives, and used widely in "diet" foods which require the flavor boost.
Some additives come from natural sources, but some are highly processing substances derived from unhealthy sources such as coal tar and peroxide.
Most processed foods colored with synthetic or other colouring agents, based on the idea that we "eat with our eyes", most food manufactures like to enhance a colour, even if the initial food is not as colourful.
A variety of colouring agents used, including many synthetic compounds. Besides the issues of ingesting compounds that are not natural, colourings often used to improve the colour of foods that have lost colour during storage or from heat. The coloured compounds in natural foods are some of the most notable phytonutrients, however, and this loss of colour can cause a loss of nutrient value, which may be masked by the introduction of synthetic compounds.
Some of these colouring additives were found to promote hypersensitivity reactions in people, especially children. In sensitive persons, consumption of these artificial colourings been linked to ADHD (attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder), asthma, and inflammatory skin conditions such as urticarial and atopic dermatitis.
A major problem with processed foods is the use of preservatives. The most commonly used preservatives are butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and sulfites.
Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
BHT is controversial in 1978, a government-sponsored review of safety data indicated that no direct toxicity observed at the permitted levels in a food however, this report also determined that more studies needed to assess the safety. Since then, BHT been shown to induce tumors in the stomach and liver in animals, when used at high levels. Again, although this allowed in foods at a low level per each food, it is one of the most common preservatives and is available in many processed foods. The amount in the best diet may be higher than the "permitted" amount per food and remains a concern by many scientists.
BHT and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) investigated for their ability to damage genetic material. In addition, research has shown that these compounds can rupture and remove red blood cells as well as develop symptoms of chemical sensitivity.
Added Fats and Sugar
Processed snack foods, dinners and side dishes mostly all contain added sugar, sodium and fats to enhance the flavor of dehydrated or frozen meals. All three associated with serious health risks: excess sodium can increase the blood pressure, excess sugar can worsen diabetes and lead to weight gain and excess fats, particularly Tran’s fats, can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Processed foods introduce high levels of salt, preservative and Tran’s fats. These are all detrimental to one diet in the levels that they are available in processed foods. Also, many processed foods stripped of their nutritional qualities during processing. Processed food has lesser dietary fibre, more salt, sugar, fat and fewer nutrients as nutrients sometimes lost during processing. The downside processed food contained lesser nutritional by lowering their nutritional values and adding chemicals and colouring which can cause cancer or obesity. Processed foods at the top of the food pyramid for a reason: they are dangerous and should be consumed in small quantities. That the high availability, of processed foods, directly conflicts with the nutritional recommendations but, unfortunately, people continue to enjoy eating processed foods. Consuming these foods contributes to obesity and cardiovascular disease, two of the most serious health disorders.
Processed foods contribute as much as 75 percent of sodium in the diets. Manufacturers include sodium in their processed products because it slows the growth of bacteria and other organisms and prolongs shelf life, disguises the metallic taste of aluminum in soft drinks and canned foods, and accentuates flavor in cookies and cakes. A diet high in sodium eventually causes high blood pressure and cardiovascular complications. The beginning of grain cultivation began 12,000 years ago, which markedly changed the nutrition of humans who once hunted food and gathered fruits and vegetables. Average height decreased by several inches after grains integrated into the diet because grains produce fewer nutrients compared with other whole foods. Today, grains not only contribute significantly to the standard diet, but many of them refined, which means that manufacturers remove the outer portion than contains essential fatty acids and nutrients to extend product shelf life. These foods often provide only empty calories that contribute to obesity.
Salmonella outbreaks often traced back to manufacturing plants, where contamination with the bacteria can sicken large numbers of people who eat a food product. Since many processed meats such as hamburger now contain beef from cows, a single sick cow can contaminate a large amount of processed meat.
Modern diets consist of over-processed foods and lifeless foods which require little enzyme activity and contain little or no fibrous material. We are eating devitalized foods that are not fresh, with fewer nutrients.
All the natural fiber, such as grain peels, been removed in the refining stages. Because of this diet is lacking in fiber, digestion is slow, and the waste materials remain in the body longer. This sets up the right place for toxic materials to develop. Also, processed foods can accommodate large amounts of chemicals and toxins which added in the processing.
We are eating lots of chemicals like colouring agents, artificial flavors and preservatives that can make the food look attractive and taste fresher.
Even non-processed foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, whole grains and meats frequently contain chemical residues from pesticides, herbicides, hormones and other products used to make them grow. All of these substances reduce the amount of Vitamin E available for biochemical and physiological processes.
Why is the food processed?
Preservatives used to extend the life of foods by controlling the spread of unwanted molds, yeast, and bacteria in food which might otherwise cause spoilage and subsequently illnesses. Most food processed and packed to stop it from going bad. Most food contains microbes which are harmless little creatures in small amounts. They can multiply rapidly if environmental conditions are right. They eat the food by breaking it down, which causes it to taste and smell awful. The microbes are dangerous in large quantities because their waste products are toxic. Preserving either kills or slows the growth of these microbes. Here, are some methods of preserving:
Drying is an ancient way of preserving foods. Dried food is hard on the outside, so microbes find it hard to penetrate. Drying does remove most of the vitamins, but can lead to a higher preference concentration.
Salting, Pickling & Smoking
These are the traditional ways used all over the world to preserve food. Meat covered in salt then hung to dry. This called curing. The salt draws a lot of the moisture out of the meat and also protects against microbes. Sugar used to preserve fruits. Thus, we have jam and sweet pickles. The sugar stops the microbes left after the preserve boiled from growing. Vinegar used to maintain vegetables. The vinegar retards microbe issue because it is so acidic and stops exposure to oxygen, which the microbes need to survive. Smoking involves hanging meat over wood fires and allowing the hot gas to preserve the meat. This also gives it a distinctive flavor. Most of the "smoked" products on the market today, however, have just had the "Smokey" flavors added to them.
Various methods of food preservation, such as drying, smoking, pickling, curing and sugaring been used over the years to preserve food and prevent wastage. More recently, these procedures been replaced by other methods of preservation such as pasteurization, sterilization, irradiation, freezing, canning and the use of other chemical preservatives.
Microbes breed in hot environments. Freezing renders most of the microbes inactive. Refrigeration slows the growth of some microbes. Before food frozen, it had plunged into boiling water to drain off as many microbes as possible, so the food can stay longer.
Canning is a common way to preserve food. First it heated through to kill any microbes. Then it sealed in air tight cans usually lined with tin. Although some foods lose their nutrients, heating activates some (especially tinned tomatoes).
Never leave unused foods in cans as they can become contaminated with metals as food/metal oxides combine. This is not a problem when ignore the remaining contents into an air tight, non-metal container.
We should never buy dented cans or bulging cans because bacteria might be able to get in.
This is a highly controversial use of preserving foods.
This is the process of heating a liquid, particularly milk, in order to kill harmful bacteria without changing the rules, flavor, or nutritive value of the liquid. French chemist Louis Pasteur devised the system in 1865. Milk pasteurized by heating at a temperature of 63° C (145° F) for 30 minutes, rapidly cooling it, and then storing it at a temperature below 10° C (50° F).
The time and temperature required for the sterilization of foods influenced by several factors, including the microorganisms found on the food, the size of the container, the acidity or pH of the food, and the process of heating.
What are problems with processed foods?
Some of the various additives included in processed foods thought to have the ability to harm the body's structure and function and suggested related to the development of skin, pulmonary and psycho-behavioral conditions. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) currently investigated for their potential to damage genetic material and thus develop cancer. Sulfites were found to aggravate asthma (hypertext) in certain children and adults. Artificial colourings been noted to cause hypersensitivity reactions in hypersensitive persons promoting conditions such as ADHD (attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder), asthma and skin conditions such as urticarial and atopic dermatitis. Therefore, avoiding foods that contain these and other chemical additives may significantly contribute to health.
One of the most commonly used sweeteners is the controversial compound aspartame. Aspartame gains its case because animal studies have shown that it can lead to accumulation of formaldehyde after consumption, and one of the breakdown products of aspartame in the intestine is the toxic compound methanol. However, low levels of aspartame have not shown immediate symptoms in humans, so it presumed safe in food products.
There is a problem with this assumption, though, because so many food processed products contain aspartame, and therefore people who consume processed foods may be taking in relatively high levels of aspartame.
Few reliable data been collected to look at the level of aspartame the average person consumes and how this section may affect the health, or the long-term effects in humans.
Sulfites are also a common preservative. Sulfites prohibited to be used in foods that supply the nutrient vitamin B1 because it can remove this vitamin. Furthermore, some people are sensitive to sulfites and respond with adverse reactions. The FDA banned the use of sulfites on fruits and vegetables in 1986 due to the reports of adverse reactions, and is still reviewing whether it should be banned from other uses. Sulfites been found to aggravate asthma in children and adults. Between five and ten percent of chronic asthmatics thought to be sulfite sensitive.
Organic foods offer a healthier alternative to conventionally grown foods, as they not grown with any of the synthetic chemical pesticides or fertilizers that suggested posing serious threats to one health. The Environmental Protection Agency considers a number of herbicides and fungicides to be potentially carcinogenic and therefore, able to cause genetic damage leading to the development of cancer and most pesticides known to cause some risk to humans. Examples of pesticides include organophosphates, organochlorines, thiocarbamates, and organ arsenic compounds.
In addition to their potential to cancer, pesticides thought to cause health threats to children, so the benefits of organic foods may be of paramount importance in safeguarding their health. Many children exposed to levels of pesticides in their food that exceed limits co nervous system which is why, they may be particularly harmful to children. In addition, some researchers believe that children and adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to the cancer-causing effects of certain pesticides since the body is more sensitive to the impact of these chemicals during periods of high growth and development.
Trans-fatty acids are an example of what can happen to essential nutrients when a food processed.
Also, called hydrogenated fats, these fatty acids, found in margarine, vegetable shortenings, crackers, cookies, snack foods and various other processed foods. Trans-fats produced by a chemical process in which hydrogen’s added to an unsaturated fatty acid. The food industry uses trans-fats to chemically prolong the shelf life of processed foods, such as cookies, chips, fast foods and margarine. This process changes a liquid fat to a soft solid form, like margarine, and thus increases the shelf-life for fats. In this process, however, the fatty acid molecule shifts structures to a structure that not found in the body; that is, the fats in the body occur in what called a "cis" 3-dimensional structure, and trans-fatty acids are the opposite of that, and are a "trans" structure. Chemically, they are different. They are monetarily inexpensive but harmful to long-term cardiovascular health.
The body notices this difference. Although we might be eating fat, and think that the fat will help one body's functioning, it rather is a separate structure than the one that the body needs and has a different response to these fats. Consuming trans-fats been shown to increase LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol (the one associated with increased risk of heart disease) and lower HDL or good cholesterol, the "protective" cholesterol. So obvious is the promotion of high LDL cholesterol levels by trans-fats and the resultant association with increased risk for heart disease that the FDA been prompted to buy these trans-fats be labeled separately on foods, so consumers can see when they are available? Trans-fats have also been linked to certain cancers, including breast cancer, and labeling them will allow us to see how often they used in processed foods and let us ignore these foods.
In some cases, food processing accomplished in that it helps counteract the natural toxins in food before they consumed. A continuous diet of junk food will certainly have an impact on long term, risk of disease.
Foods such as pastured, grass fed meats, eggs and poultry, fresh organic vegetables and fruit, wild caught seafood, tropical oils, clean, raw dairy products and properly prepared nuts and grains support the development and maintenance of the muscles and organs.
Stick with these types of foods for the majority of one diet, and will go a long way toward avoiding the health problems associated with non-nutritive, processed junk foods.
Certain pesticides known neurotoxins, cause harm to the developing brain and nervous system which is why they may be particularly harmful to children. In addition, some researchers conclude that children and adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to the cancer-causing effects of certain pesticides since the body is more sensitive to the impact of these chemicals during periods of high growth and development.