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Why is pre-packaged food is not healthy

28 May 2009 1,346 views No Comment

For many people, home cooking from scratch is not the way dinner is prepared each night. Rather a more familiar scene is popping a frozen meal into the microwave for a quick heat-and-eat lunch or dinner. Companies that manufacture these foods are not required to list every single ingredient put into the food product; therefore you can never be absolutely sure what it is you are getting. There are a lot of prepackaged meals that claim to be fresh and healthy but the reality is that prepackaged foods typically contain preservatives and other ingredients that can be harmful to your health.

 

In order for many canned and frozen foods to stay “fresh”, preservatives are added. Preservatives are chemicals used in foods to preserve them and keep them from spoiling. In addition to the preservatives that are being added, other ingredients that can be dangerous to your health are also part of the deal. Many foods contain artificial flavors and smells, and colors that can adversely affect the liver and other areas of your body.

 

One example of the additives found in the foods is the excessive levels of sodium. While salt is necessary for the body’s survival, too much salt can lead to many health problems, such as high blood pressure and water retention. A derivative of salt is MSG, an ingredient a lot of people are allergic to, but is added to many foods to improve the flavor of foods. Another problem with prepackaged foods is the loss of nutrients, vitamins, and fiber that occur during the processing and manufacturing steps. Fresh vegetables and fruits contain the important things your body needs without the added preservatives and artificial flavors.

 

There are over 6,000 chemicals used in the commercially produced foods. It is estimated that people will ingest up to 5 pounds of chemical additives in a year’s time. Some common examples of preservatives found in prepackaged foods are as follows:

Sulphite

This preservative is used to fight harmful bacteria and yeasts to prevent them from forming in the foods. Examples of food products that contain sulphite are dehydrated vegetables and fruits.

 

Benzoic Acid

This preservative is most commonly found in soft drinks and ketchup. It is added to prevent the growth of some molds and yeasts.

 

Nitrates

Nitrates, like those added to bacon, sausages, and ham,  are preservatives that help control the growth of molds.

 

Sorbic Acid

Sorbic acid is a preservative that is used to prevent the development of mold in products such as wine and cheeses.

 

Alginates

These preservatives help to stabilize the creamy textures of processed foods like salad dressings and ice creams.

 

Aspartame

This is added to food products to act as a sweetener. Aspartame is commonly found in diet sodas, fruit juices, other sweeteners, and gelatins.

One of the only ways to keep preservatives out of your diet and prevent illness or bodily harm is to avoid the prepackaged foods and eat fresh vegetables, fruits, and use approved natural ingredients that are free of chemicals, artificial colors, and more. Learning to read labels can help to some extend but you will need to brush up on your terminology to truly understand what the listed ingredients really mean to your health.

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