Fitness Contrarian Principle #2: Avoid Processed Foods
I can confidently say that if you eat heavily processed foods on a regular basis you will be shortening your life. Research has found that being over weight is responsible for 216,000 premature deaths each year and the over consumption of processed foods are a major contributor to the obesity epidemic in the US.
Processed foods are loaded with sugar, salt, trans fats, preservatives and empty calories. Everything you want to avoid in your diet is in processed foods. Most people know that processed foods are not good for you but they are so abundant and easy to consume it’s hard to stay away from them. If you want to live a long and healthy life you have to put a little effort in and start eating whole natural foods.
Read some of my past posts about eating whole natural foods and avoiding sugar and salt: Sugar Increases Heart Disease Risk, Sugar Kills Muscle Tissue, Reduce the Sodium and Lose Weight, Am I Eating Enough Potassium and Healthy Affordable Foods.
Processed foods can be defined as foods that are altered from their natural state. Most individuals know what the obvious processed foods are like frozen chicken nuggets, canned foods with lots of sodium, packaged cakes and cookies, deli meats and pancake mix. But foods like whole wheat bread or a bagel are processed food loaded with salt, sugar and empty calories too. I‘m always surprised when my personal training clients don’t realize that most of their diet is made up of processed foods.
I’m aware that conventional wisdom recommends and thinks that whole wheat bread is a healthy food. But in my opinion there is not much nutrition there. Whole wheat bread is still a processed food high in sodium and empty sugary calories. It may have a gram or two of fiber but you can eat a cup of fresh vegetables or have a piece of fruit and get the fiber without the sodium and sugar rush and with a whole lot more nutrition.
Any food in it’s whole natural state is pretty much good for you. You can over do it with grains; however (whole grains can be too sugary), even if they are not processed so eat them in moderation. Organic vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, poultry, eggs and whole unprocessed grain in moderation should be the cornerstones of your diet.
Take a little extra time to buy and prepare natural organic foods. You will lose weight, have more energy, be healthier and live a longer life. Eating whole natural foods is a gift you can give yourself and your family.
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Best- Mike Cola