Do you eat a lot of processed foods? Do you know what processed foods are? Well, they’re in every store, and you could be overeating of them. If your typical day includes items like frozen pies, muffins, and other baked goods, salami, bacon, and other cured meats, you could be heading for trouble.
So, what are processed foods? Processed foods are foods that have been altered or changed in some way from their original form. So, if a food item has been dried, canned, baked, frozen, or undergone the addition of chemical agents, we can consider it to be processed. Something as simple as pre-cutting fruit or pre-washed salad bags are processed. That means that a vast majority of what we eat has been treated in some way or other. Pre-Cut fruit slices are not harmful to your health, so it follows that not all processed food is bad for us.
What experts are talking about when they negatively refer to processed foods is food that has been highly-processed such as white flour, which has had all the fiber and much of the goodness taken out of it. It also includes things like cookies, bagels, candy, sodas and other things that are produced in a factory. These foods tend to have high levels of unhealthy fats added, as well as high levels of sugars and salt (sodium) to make them more appealing for consumers.
The other problem with processed foods is not just what’s been added, but what’s been lost. The healthiest foods come in natural, whole form, such as fresh vegetables and fruit, pulses, grains and a moderate amount of healthy fats. Processed foods are deficient in fiber, minerals, and vitamins, and lack a healthy balance of the macronutrients protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Read on for 30 signs that you might be eating too many processed foods.
1. Constant thirst
One of the most common ingredients added to processed foods is salt. This is because it prolongs the shelf life of foods to which it’s added, and tends to improve the flavor of the product to make it more palatable for consumers. So, if you’re eating too many processed foods, you might be suffering from constant thirst. What happens is that the sodium in salt draws water off your system so that you need to drink more. If you don’t, you become dehydrated.
It’s important to note that everyone’s bodies are different in the way in which they process sodium. For example, if you feel thirsty after eating a box of popcorn, someone else doing the same might not be at all thirsty. Also, if the weather’s hot or you’re very active, you’ll be perspiring more, and need to drink more water. So, if you’re always thirsty in spite of drinking quite a few beverages, you might want to look at how many processed foods you eat. Do bear in mind, however, that constant thirst and the need to urinate frequently can be signs of diabetes. Talk to your doctor to rule this out.