Processed Food is Not Real Food: Doctors

Processed food and how it impacts your health

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processed food
Processed food is very harmful for your health. Pixabay

BY SIDDHI JAIN

Soft drinks, ketchup, jams, tinned fruits and potato chips – all these taste delicious and are convenient, but it is important to note that they are examples of processed foods and large quantities may be harmful to your health.

According to UK’s NHS, processed food is any food that has been altered in some way during preparation. Food processing can be as basic as freezing, canning, baking, and drying.

“Processed food is not “real food”; it is food that has been modified by chemical processes and contains additives, flavorings, emulsifiers and stabilizers. The food is then assembled into ready-to-eat hyper palatable food called ‘Cosmetic food’. The easiest way to judge how processed the food is to look at the length of the food label at the back of the packet. The longer the list, the more processed is the food in it,” Dr Tejal Lathia, Consultant Endocrinologist, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi- A Fortis Network Hospital, told IANS.

processed food
According to UK’s NHS, processed food is any food that has been altered in some way during preparation. Food processing can be as basic as freezing, canning, baking, and drying. Pixabay

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Natural sugars are found in fruit, cereals and vegetables along with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and thus, they are healthy. Refined or processed sugar, however, lacks these accompanying vital nutrients and is found in most processed foods, even those that are not considered sweet like ready-to-eat soups and ketchup.

Notably, processed food includes packaged breads, breakfast cereals, confectionery (sweets), biscuits, pastries, buns, cakes, industrial chips and french fries, soft and fruit drinksor packed juices, packaged pre-prepared meals (frozen meals) and reconstituted meat products.

As per the doctor, processed foods are harmful because they contain higher amounts of unhealthy fat, sugar and salt.

The extra calories – termed ’empty’ calories because they lack nutritional value – consumed in the form of fat and sugar, from processed food, leads to weight gain and high blood sugar. Excess sodium, that comes from salt, in this type of food raises blood pressure and causes water retention. The combination of high blood sugar and blood pressure with obesity increases the risk of heart diseases and cancer.

Furthermore, most processed foods also lack fiber and protein, which are necessary for satiety or the feeling of being full after a meal. Failure to feel full results in consumption of large quantities of the processed food at one time. Lastly, these processed foods contain little to no vitamins and minerals. If a large part of a person’s diet consists of processed foods, they can suffer from lack of important vitamins and minerals.

processed food
“Processed food is not “real food”; it is food that has been modified by chemical processes and contains additives, flavorings, emulsifiers and stabilizers. Pixabay

“A study from Brazil showed that preschool children who consumed excess ultra processed food (40 percent of their daily calorie intake) had increased waist circumference by the time they entered primary school. Two large European studies have studied the link between consumption of processed foods and health. One study found that people who consumed even 10 percent more processed food, had increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

“The second study showed that those who consumed 4 or more servings of processed food a day had a 60 percent increased chance of dying, when compared with those who consumed less than 2 servings of processed food per day,” Dr Tejal told IANS.

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In addition to the poor nutritional quality of the food, substances formed from additives during the production, processing and storage as well as contact of food with the packaging have unknown effects. The NutriNet-Sante study from France found an increase in overall cancer risk, as well as breast cancer risk by 10 percent for each 10 percent increase in consumption of processed food.

Also Read- Focus on Your Child’s Mental Health Amid COVID-19 Crisis

In India, consumption of packaged food is on the rise paralleling an increase in overweight and obese children and adults. Strict policies need to be in place for food labelling, tackling the availability of packaged foods near schools and colleges as well as increase in taxation for companies manufacturing processed foods. Only then can we stem the tide of increasing obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and death. (IANS)

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Oil Pulling: An Ayurvedic Treatment to Boost Immunity

Oil pulling is an ancient treatment dateing back to more than 3,000 years

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Oil pulling
Oil pulling can boost your Immunity. Pixabay

Oil pulling is regarded as an ancient Ayurveda treatment that dates back to more than 3,000 years.

Considered as a detoxification therapy, it is done by taking a spoonful of cold pressed virgin oil (preferably coconut oil) and swishing it in your mouth for about 5 minutes, similar to using a mouthwash. The purpose of oil pulling is to swish the oil around in your mouth, between the teeth to get rid of bacteria in the mouth, spit it out and immediately rinse with some warm water.

Nutritionist Sheryl Salis shares how oil pulling that can help improve your immunity, uses of virgin coconut oil and the method of oil pulling:

Oil pulling is an alternative health practice gaining traction in recent times not only for oral health but also as an immunity boosting measure. As the mouth is a home to millions of microbes including bacteria, the oil pulling process helps get rid of these bacteria through swishing oil in the mouth and in-between the teeth. Swishing the oil for a prolonged period cleanses the mouth and decreases the bacterial load. Not only does this promote oral hygiene, this technique aids in overall health and well-being.

hand-sanitize
Other than basic precautions like sanitizing and washing hands, immunty is the key factor to protect yourself from COVID-19 pandemic. Pixabay

With the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, it is recommended to build and maintain a strong immune system to help combat the risk of being infected. While external precautionary measures like sanitizing and washing hands are essential, maintaining basic hygiene measures and eating healthy to build one’s immunity is of utmost importance.

Using virgin coconut oil to build immunity

Cold pressed virgin coconut oil is a superfood recommended for its myriad health benefits; it is a rich source of naturally occurring Lauric acid and contains Vitamin E which helps to improve body’s immunity. The medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) that contain lauric acid and caprylic acid strengthens the immune system and has anti-viral properties. Therefore, Adding 2 spoons of virgin coconut oil to the diet every day can help improve the immunity and maintain a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

In most Indian household’s, virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices and is slowly making its way in the mainstream wellness community for oil pulling. Known for its immune boosting properties, virgin coconut oil can be introduced as an effective technique into your heath regime.

Oil Pulling
Virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices. Pixabay

How to do it?

eStart by swishing it in your mouth on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning

Also Read: Ace Learning From Home During Lockdown

eTake about 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in the mouth and swish it for about 3-5 minutes.

eDiscard the oil by spitting it out. Do not swallow the oil as you will ingest the toxins with it as well

eRinse the mouth with warm water and brush your teeth as usual

eRepeat the process 3-4 times a week. (IANS)

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Covid-19 to Cause Lasting Physical and Mental Health Consequences Worldwide

Researchers warn that the pandemic is likely to cause profound health issues globally

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covid-19 consequences
Covid-19 pandemic is likely to cause major physical and mental health consequences on people all over the world. WIkimedia Commons

The coronavirus pandemic’s life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for several people, warn researchers.

For the findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team studied low-income women from New Orleans in the US, who were surveyed the year prior to, and at intervals after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

The women reported a range of traumatic experiences during Katrina, many of which are similar to those now occurring during the pandemic, including bereavement, lack of access to medical care and scarcity of medications.

Hurricane Katrina consequences
Hurricane Katrina which struck in 2005 had major consequences and a range of traumatic experiences as reported by the survivors, many of which are similar to those now occurring during the pandemic. Wikimedia Commons

The research showed that at one, four and 12 years after the hurricane, the exposures most strongly associated with post-traumatic stress, psychological distress, general health and physical health symptoms were those most common to the current pandemic.

The pandemic continues to cause widespread death and sickness, as well as job loss and severe economic hardship for many.

“This pandemic is likely to have profound short- and long-term consequences for physical and mental health,” said study researcher Sarah Lowe, Assistant Professor at Yale University in the US.

“These impacts are likely to be even larger than what we have seen in previous disasters like Hurricane Katrina, given the distinctive qualities of the pandemic as a disaster,” Lowe added.

The study did not include other exposures that are taking place during the pandemic, such as financial losses and unemployment, which are also likely to have additional and significant impacts on public health.

The results suggest that, in addition to promoting actions to reduce COVID-19 transmission and addressing longstanding health disparities contributing to COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, public health measures should also prevent and mitigate exposures that will have indirect effects on mental and physical health.

consequences like unemployment
Many other consequences like unemployment are also likely take place will have additional and significant impacts on public health. Pixabay

This includes preventing lapses in medical care and medication access. Additionally, another key exposure in the study was fear for one’s own safety and the safety of others.

As such, public health messaging should provide tips for managing anxiety and fear, in addition to promoting efforts to increase safety from COVID-19 transmission.

Also Read: Will announce resumption of more trains to take India towards normalcy: Railway Minister

“Supplemental health services should be provided to those who are bereaved or are experiencing clinically significant fear and anxiety-related the pandemic,” Lowe said.

“This study represents a step toward disentangling the health consequences of disasters, while also recognising more longstanding factors that contribute to health disparities,” she wrote.

Recently, another study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, revealed that people taken ill by coronavirus infections may experience psychiatric problems while hospitalised and potentially after they recover. (IANS)

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Keep Your Nutrition and Overall Health Goals Spot On During Lockdown

Here's how you can meet your health goals while at home

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nutrition
Keeping a check on nutrition can be tough during lockdown. Pixabay

By Aditi Roy

“Work from Home” during quarantine has changed our lifestyles; keeping a check on nutrition can be tough when our home is our office. A few Diet Tips can be helpful during this time.

Unlike at the office, here we have plenty of packed food in the refrigerator all to ourself and enough time to graze. We could be working long hours without having eaten a thing and then accidentally reaching out for an entire packet of chips.

However, this can not only sabotage immunity but also distort our waistline. While we have plenty of time to focus on our hobbies and going by the trend, for most of us it seems to be cooking, baking and filling our stomach with easy & unhealthy food. However, it is also important to break these habits and switch to something healthier.

Let’s see how a small switch can bring us back on track? Here are some tips shared by By Kimaye Health- INI Farms to keep your nutrition and overall health goals spot on.

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We have plenty of packed food in the refrigerator all to ourself during the lockdown. pixabay

Ditch the noodles

Did you skip breakfast again to spend hours on a project? Well, in that case, the onset of laziness will make you reach for a pack of instant noodles. But considering health as a priority, homemade oatmeal porridge seems to be a better option. Top it with a dollop of peanut butter and banana slices and voila! A great meal to start your day with!

Workout while you WFH

Making time to workout while you WFH? This new work trend may keep you glued to your screen and your couch. Taking breaks at regular intervals to ease off some stress while keeping yourself off the couch — walk around the house, do 50 skips or squats and you are good to go.

Plan your meals

Plan your meals throughout the day just like you plan your day at work. Set aside some time towards the end of the day to plan for the next day. This will not just boost your productivity but will keep you from being a hungry mess at 5 in the evening and draw lines of discipline.

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You should plan your meals a day prior. Pixabay

Read More: Here’s How You Can Tackle Obesity And Stay Healthy During Lockdown

Cut out on caffeine

Are you reaching out for a cup of tea or coffee during odd hours? Here’s a wakeup call — start your day with a fresh pomegranate juice or fresh fruit. This will ensure a healthy sleep pattern and will keep your skin glowing.

Still binge-watching?

Binge-watching and couch potato go hand in hand. With screen times shooting up for as long as 10 hours, it is essential to give yourself a break from excessive screen time. Begin with a minimum of 30 minutes, it’s time to focus on your inner-self and cut out the external noises. (IANS)