You’ve been warned to stay away from processed foods for your health. But do you know why?
Here are 5 ways they’re nutritionally different from unprocessed foods:
1. Emulsifiers galore
Processed foods have emulsifiers, added ingredients which help keep fat and water from separating. But at least one study shows they may also act as detergents, eating away at the mucus membrane that lines the intestines for protection.
2. Excess nitrates
Nitrates are found in cured meats, and are converted by the body into compounds that have been linked to colon cancer.
3. Low in fiber
When compared with unprocessed food, processed products lack fiber. Fiber is a key element when it comes to food absorption in the gut.
4. High in salt
Processed foods contain more salt than unprocessed foods, which can cause hypertension and heart disease.
5. Omega fatty acids imbalance
Processed foods contain too few omega-3 fatty acids and too many omega-6 fatty acids. Studies show an imbalance of these fats may contribute to obesity and depression. And increase risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.