CHERYL A. MAJOR: Eight Reasons to Eliminate Processed Foods

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Most of us know that a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains is our best choice. But, many of us don’t know exactly why we should be eliminating processed foods. I want to share with you the top eight reasons for avoiding processed foods.

Monosodium glutamate

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a form of salt which has been chemically changed and is used to enhance the flavor of many popular processed foods. It has been directly linked to weight gain and obesity, and negatively affects how full you feel when you are eating. This can lead to overeating, since your brain doesn’t get the message you are full.

Migraines, liver inflammation, kidney failure and even brain damage are possible byproducts of heavy exposure to MSG. It is, however, the world’s most popular flavor enhancer, and it can be listed under any of the following names – acid hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed corn, MSG, plant protein extract and yeast extract, just to name a few.

High fructose corn syrup

Why is high fructose corn syrup so dangerous to your health? It contributes to liver deterioration, plaque buildup in your blood vessels, the general increase of inflammation in your body and has been shown to contribute to the development of diabetes. It accelerates the natural aging process in your body and can contain unhealthy mercury poisons. It’s used in more and more processed food products all the time.

Low-fat often means high in sugar

Many processed and manufactured foods boast about being low-fat or no-fat. This may sound healthy, but the fact is that fat has flavor. When you remove fat from those foods, you need to replace the flavor that has been removed with something. Unfortunately, what they add is massive amounts of salt and sugar. Usually the sweeteners are HFCS, sucrose, lactose and glucose, as well as other yummy tasting but equally unhealthy sweeteners.

Sugar triggers the feel good transmitters in your brain which can cause an addiction to sweet tasting processed foods. Sugar can have a devastating effect on your health, and is believed by many doctors and nutritionists to be the leading cause of chronic disease, obesity and premature aging in today’s modern societies.

Important nutrients are processed out

Many processed foods are developed so they have a longer shelf life and taste better to us than when they existed in their natural state. Too often this involves removing wonderful phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, either intentionally or unintentionally.

By its very definition, processing foods leads to a non-natural state of that food. So many of the healthy components that nature packs into its foods are removed or destroyed when food is processed. In our world today, we have been taught by the processed food companies what food should taste like:  salt, sugar and bad fats.  We need to relearn how real food really tastes.

Added chemicals, both unnatural and dangerous ones   

Processed food manufacturers, interested in creating products that last as long as possible, are inexpensive to make, and taste great so you continue to buy them, include chemicals into their food products like  MSG, sugar, salt and a long list of man-made chemicals.  These are unhealthy at best and dangerous at worst.

“Clean” foods are easier on your digestive system

Your body identifies these chemical additives as poisons and toxins, and it works very hard to rid your system of them. They are much harder to digest than the foods nature intended men and women to eat.  This makes your digestive tract work harder than it has to if you eat real food, and it leads to a long list of gastrointestinal problems and health issues. Can you relate to this?

Whole foods are actually less expensive than their processed counterparts

Junk food addicts often claim that eating healthy food is just too expensive. Several studies like one published by the Rodale Institute, show that the opposite is actually true. For instance, they showed that one serving of 100 percent organic chili (made with fresh ingredients) costs roughly $0.50 less than a can of microwavable chili you would purchase at the grocery store.

You’ll begin to feel healthier almost immediately

Processed foods contain a lot of “junk” your body does not need and definitely doesn’t want. This can include phosphates which actually weaken your bones and organs. The excess sugar in processed foods can lead to weight gain and heart problems, and many manufactured foods can lead to chronic inflammation, dementia, respiratory failure and multiple neurologic problems. When you eat whole fresh food and avoid processed food, you will be and feel healthier both mentally and physically!

This article was originally published at

Helping You Make Major Improvements in Your Life!

Cheryl A Major

I am a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. My TV show, “Thin Strong Healthy”, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of my blog   I offer ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow me on Twitter @CherylAMajor.  

My new book, “Eat Your Blues Away” in which I chronicle my recovery from depression by changing how I eat is now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback!  Remember you DO NOT need a Kindle device to read this, and that the Kindle Reader is a no cost way to read books on your laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone.

If emotional eating is an issue for you, be sure to pickup my new free focus guide that will help you rid yourself of the cues that can set off eating a bag of chips or cookies 









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