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How Processed Foods Secretly Make You Sick & Wreck Your Health (Spoiler Alert)

Many foods we think are good for us are actually packed with sneaky stuff that can wreck our health. It's time to uncover the truth about what's really in our processed food, making us sick without us even knowing—from our favorite yogurts to so-called "organic" soups—and begin prioritizing our well-being.

Have you ever thought you were choosing a healthy food option, only to discover it's filled with questionable ingredients?

In a world where everything is fast-paced, the convenience of processed foods has become a norm for many of us. But what we don’t know is that these processed foods are not as innocent as they seem—they’re secretly destroying our health and well-being.

From sneaky sugars to synthetic additives, these processed goodies are sabotaging our health and playing a dangerous game with our bodies.

Unveiling the Dark Side of Processed Foods

Let’s take a closer look at some of these potentially harmful ingredients and the unexpected foods they may hide in, often marketed as ‘healthy.’

  • Processed sugars:
    • Fueling an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, while also compromising immunity.
    • Found in salad dressing, flavored yogurt, breakfast cereals, bread, flavored coffee and creamers marketed as low-fat or healthy options.
  • Artificial additives:
    • Poisoning our bodies and have been linked to allergies and behavioral issues.
    • Found in packaged snacks, frozen meals labeled as “low-calorie” or “healthy choice,” flavored drinks and energy bars.
  • Synthetic dyes:
    • Hijacking our health and have been associated with cancer and hyperactivity.
    • Found in breakfast cereals, granola bars, flavored beverages, and processed snacks such as fruit snacks.
  • Refined fats such as soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, and canola oil:
    • Causing inflammation, clogging arteries, and paving the way for strokes and heart attacks.
    • Found in bread, granola bars, vegetable-based dips or spreads marketed as health-conscious options, processed snacks, baked goods, and margarine.
  • High sodium levels:
    • They’re a silent killer. They raise blood pressure, increase the risk of stroke, and trigger heart disease.
    • Found in processed meats, frozen meals, canned soups labeled as “organic” or “low-fat,” snack foods and certain veggie burgers.
  • Preservatives:
    • Slowly poisoning our system and have been linked to organ damage and cancer.
    • Found in just about anything with a shelf life to include processed meats, bread, “healthy” frozen dinners, canned foods, and packaged soups marketed as “organic” or “natural.”
  • Chemical flavor enhancers:
    • Hijacking our taste buds, leading to overeating and obesity.
    • Another ingredient found in numerous foods, including packaged snacks and meals, veggie chips, flavored yogurt, and certain types of “natural” or “organic” snack bars.
  • GMO ingredients:
    • Their derivatives are altering our DNA, with potential long-term health consequences.
    • Often found in processed foods containing soy, corn, and canola.
  • Hormone disruptors:
    • Sabotaging our endocrine system, causing hormonal imbalances.
    • Found in meat, eggs and dairy products supplemented with additional hormones and many processed foods containing plastic packaging, canned foods lined with BPA and microwavable meals.
  • Trans fats:
    • Deadly artery cloggers, contributing to heart disease and stroke.
    • Found in margarine, certain brands of whole-grain crackers, low-fat muffins, and packaged snacks marketed as “healthy.”
  • High fructose corn syrup:
    • Wreaking havoc on metabolism, contributing to liver disease and insulin resistance.
    • Another commonly used perpetrator; found in certain brands of fruit-flavored yogurt, whole-grain breakfast cereals, granola bars, and the list goes on and on.
  • Artificial sweeteners:
    • Tricking our bodies and have been linked to weight gain, metabolic dysfunction, and destroying our microbiome.
    • Found in “low-sugar,” “sugar-free” and “low-calorie” fruit juices, yogurts, snacks, breakfast cereals, and flavored drinks.
  • Antibiotics in meat:
    • Fueling antibiotic resistance, compromising our ability to fight infections.
    • Particularly in conventionally raised chicken, beef, and pork.
  • Pesticide residues:
    • Accumulating in our bodies, increasing cancer risk, and disrupting hormonal balance.
    • Found in non-organic fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen), whole-grain bread, and some “natural” or “healthy” snack bars.
  • Synthetic transglutaminase (meat glue)
    • Masking poor quality and potentially causing allergic reactions and gastrointestinal problems.
    • Found in processed meats like deli meat, pre-formed burgers, chicken nuggets, sausage, and imitation crab meat.
  • Phthalates in packaging:
    • Are leaching into our food, disrupting hormones, and impacting reproductive health.
    • Found in pre-packaged salads, microwavable meals, and some brands of deli meats.
  • Acrylamide formation:
    • Created during processing and potentially carcinogenic and harmful to the nervous system.
    • Found in whole-grain crackers, “healthy” packaged snacks, and baked vegetable chips.

Make Informed Decisions

It’s important to be mindful of the packaged foods we consume. Even though they may appear harmless, they can have a negative impact on our health without us even realizing it. By opting for real, whole foods, we can ensure that we’re nourishing our bodies properly.

Remember, Progress is More Important than Perfection

While it’s okay to indulge in foods containing these ingredients occasionally, try not to depend on them as your primary source of nourishment.

If you’re looking to make a transition to a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to begin, check out our article How to Get Started with a Healthy, Real-Food Lifestyle. If you prefer a more structured approach and want to remove all guesswork, then Live FULL is the perfect solution for you. It will help you systematically transform your kitchen into a healthy haven.

Let's take back control of our health by making informed choices—together!

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Cheers to a healthy lifestyle and living FULLforLife!
xo, Pam & Kalie

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