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National Nutrition Week 2020: From Increasing Cancer Risk to Diabetes, Here Are Five Reasons to Avoid Processed Food

National Nutrition Week is observed annually in India during the first week of September. This event was launched by the Food and Nutrition Board in the year 1982 and is celebrated from September 1 to September 7. Various activities and seminars are held during this week to raise awareness about healthy eating habits to avoid nutritional deficiency. On the occasion of National Nutrition Week 2020, we will tell you why processed foods should be avoided as they can increase cancer risk and even cause diabetes. It must be noted that all processed foods are bad. However, the ones which contain refined ingredients and artificial substances are not good for health. Say No To Dessert! Benefits of Avoiding Refined Sugar And How Doing This Helps in Weight Loss.

Foods which go through mechanical processing like pasteurisation, heating vegetable are not bad for health. When we say processed foods are bad for health, we refer to chemically processed foods which have added chemical flavouring agents, colours and sweeteners. Chemically processed food, also known as ultra-processed food, tends to be high in sugar, artificial ingredients, refined carbohydrates and trans fats. Methods used to process food include canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration and aseptic processing. Frozen meals, baked goods, packaged bread, candy, ice cream, instant noodles, soups, sodas and other sweetened drinks are some examples of ultra-processed foods. Say No To Maida! How Refined Flour Can Be Bad For Your Health And Why You Should Avoid it.

Five Reasons to Stay Away From Processed Foods

1. Increased Cancer Risk – Ultra-processed foods contain artificial flavour, colours and are high in sugar which can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer and other types of cancer. Some synthetic chemicals used in the processed food industry are known to have carcinogenic properties.

2. Obesity – Heavily processed foods are high in sugar which blocks the hormonal signal that tells the brain that it’s time to stop eating. Also high fat and salt content leads to water retention. Also, the lack of nutrients and fibre leads to consumption of empty calories and unhealthy weight gain. According to the World Health Organisation, processed foods are to blame for the spike in obesity levels.

3. Cause Diabetes – Processed foods are high in refined carbohydrates and sugar which increase the blood glucose levels. When pancreas produce too much insulin for transferring blood sugar to skeletal muscles, they can get damaged. After a period of time, pancreas fail to produce insulin which controls blood sugar level, and this can lead to a severe diabetic condition.

4. Damaged Kidney – Ultra-processed foods are high in sodium, which can lead to chronic kidney diseases. High sodium reduces kidney function to remove excess water which increases blood volume which also increases pressure on your arteries.

5. Processed Foods Are Addictive – Processed foods are designed to stimulate our brain’s ‘feel-good’ dopamine centre, which makes an individual crave for more. Ultra-processed foods do not satisfy the hunger, they instead cause an increase in empty calories that will lead to unwanted weight gain.

Therefore, it is safe to stay away from chemically processed food and instead opt for having more organic and whole foods. On National Nutrition Week 2020, motivate your friend, children and family members to eat clean and stay away from processed food.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 06, 2020 08:01 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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