The Dangers of Processed Food (And 3 Reasons to Cut Them Out of Your Diet)
You are what you eat. If you eat a healthy diet, you have a higher chance of living a long and fulfilling life. And the opposite is true.
However, this is just part of the story. Staying in shape throughout your life will open some doors that you never thought of, especially if you want to live long.
To supplement that, getting life insurance may have also crossed your mind at some point. And most people take out a term life insurance policy to help secure their family’s long-term future.
But, did you know that your health plays a big role in it?
That’s because the healthier you are, the lower your life insurance premium will tend to be.
If you eat lots of processed and unhealthy food, you’re not doing any favours to your body. It can lead to obesity and a number of other underlying health issues.
Many life insurance providers will conduct a thorough check of your medical record first before they issue you with cover. Most providers also check your BMI (Body Mass Index) as a factor in calculating the premium.
So, to put it simply, the less healthy you are, the higher the risk posed to the insurance company. If you have a higher chance of developing serious diseases, insurance providers are more likely to charge you higher premiums, or possibly decide not to insure you at all
But you don’t have to be looking to buy life insurance to want to adjust your diet. Find out why you should reduce or eliminate processed foods.
Why Are Processed Foods Bad for You?
First, we need to make a distinction between minimally processed and ultra-processed food.
Products such as canned beans and tomatoes are a different kind of processed food. The canning locks in all the nutrients and freshness so they retain their nutritious components.
When people talk about processed foods, they primarily refer to those that went through chemical changes in the processing. They contain additives like artificial ingredients and flavours that are harmful to your body.
There are numerous reasons to avoid processed food altogether. And here are some of the most notable:
- Low Nutritional Value – Heavily processed food loses most of the vitamins, minerals, and fibres. Yes, it’ll fill you up, but that’s about it.
- Quick to Digest – Continuing from the above, processed food also goes through the digestive system much quicker. You’re going to feel hungry sooner, as a result. And according to studies, people tend to burn twice as many calories when they eat whole foods. So, you’ll burn processed food a lot slower than that.
- Calorie Dense – Processed food is generally full of calories. For example, 34g of peanut butter contains the same calories as 400g of apples. When you combine that with rapid digestion, the result is weight gain.
- Addictive – After eating processed food, it’s hard to stop. The common additives like sugar stimulate the brain’s “happy” areas. As a consequence, you’ll be craving for more.
- Serious Health Threat – A wide range of studies confirm that processed foods increase the risk of cancer. Furthermore, additives like fat, sodium and sugar lead to other health issues. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, to name a few.
But, there’s more. Eating processed food can negatively impact your life in other ways, and you’re going to find out more about it below.
Reason #1 – More Expensive Life Insurance Policy
As already mentioned, your life insurance premiums will depend on your health, among other things such as age and pastimes.
When you apply for a life insurance policy, most providers will request your medical record.
They’ll want get a hold of all of your vitals, including your BMI. And your premium will likely increase if you’re considered to have a health-related condition.
And if you’re deemed too risky to insure, they may completely reject your application.
That’s going to leave your ones without the financial safety net which life insurance can provide.
Reason #2 – Mood Swings
You can find a plethora of scientific studies that linked processed foods with a bad mood.
A 2011 study found a much lower incidence of mental health issues among those who eat whole foods. In particular, they recorded lower depression and anxiety rates compared to those who consume a fast food diet.
And there are additives used in these unhealthy foods. They’re addictive because they cause cravings in the deprived. But if people give in and indulge in these foods, they’re going to feel worse after a short period of satiety.
It’s similar to other addictive substances that people consume, despite knowing that they’re harmful.
Another study linked eating fast food with weakened social and family relationships. People don’t sit and eat a healthy meal together as often anymore. They’re more likely to order pizza delivery and eat alone.
Reason #3 – Bad for the Environment
Processed food leaves harmful substances both inside and around you.
In 2012, Americans produced more than 200 million tons of waste but only recycled a third. Most of that is the plastic, metal, and glass waste that comes from food packaging.
Beyond the fact that the materials aren’t biodegradable, they often contain harmful substances that pollute the ground.
Therefore, opting against eating processed food can also be considered your way of showing love and care for the planet.
Health Benefits and More
The issue with processed food is more serious than it seems. It does so much harm, yet it’s the most popular type of food in a number of cultures.
Of course, there’s a financial reason behind it. Processed food is cheaper than organic and whole foods.
But, have you ever thought about why this is the case?
Eating cheaper food may cost you a fortune in the long run. Think about the medical bills and others that you’ll have to foot as a result of neglecting your wellness.
Take life insurance, for example. By having a life insurance policy, you’re investing in your and your loved ones’ futures, the same way you’re investing in yourself by eating healthy.
If you don’t have life insurance, it may be something you want to consider. There’s no time like now to take care of your body and consider your future. Life insurance is also more affordable when you’re in top shape.
And if you’re looking for a reputable life insurance provider, NobleOak combines award-winning customer service and a wide range of life insurance cover types. Get a quote on our website to get started.