Processed foods are those that have been altered or manipulated so that they are no longer in their natural state. Some foods undergo minimal processing, such as fruits that are frozen or nuts that have been shelled and roasted. Other foods are highly processed and have had chemicals added to prolong freshness, add color, or improve taste. These foods include things like vacuum-packed meats, canned soups, pre-made desserts, and ready-made frozen dinners. Giving up highly processed foods means giving up extra sugar, sodium, preservatives, saturated fats, and chemicals. While removing these items from your diet may be uncomfortable at first, as your body detoxes from the added chemicals, you will notice benefits to your health.
11. Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Removing processed foods from your diet and replacing them with nutrient-packed alternatives can lower your risk of heart disease. Many processed foods contain the saturated fats that raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol. Replacing them with heart-healthy whole grains provides your body with the fiber it needs to improve cholesterol levels and protect your heart. The sodium from added salt in processed foods also has a negative effect on your heart. Replacing processed foods with vegetables and fruits provides your body with the antioxidants you need to fight against the heart-damaging effects of free radicals.
10. Clearer Skin
Highly processed foods contain saturated fats and high sugar levels that may trigger inflammation and skin breakouts. High blood sugar levels and elevated insulin production may stimulate your skin to produce more oils, resulting in clogged pores and inflamed hair follicles. Avoiding foods with high saturated fats and sugars and replacing them with nutrient-rich foods can give your skin a healthy glow. Nutritious foods like leafy greens, vibrant berries, and protein-packed nuts can stimulate tissue repair and the production of elastin and collagen. Foods that contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation instead of causing it.