Convenience foods are killing us; a fact jarringly obvious when we examine mortality statistics. How many people truly understand the relationship between the food they eat and its impact on their body's health?
We tend to live in the moment, forgetting choices have consequences. Food that’s been processed, packaged, flavoured and often precooked for us has increasingly become a convenient part of everyday life, but at great cost.
The issue at hand is the rapid expansion of a class of food products that are not simply processed conventionally to extend shelf-life but are also frequently modified to enhance flavour, appearance, texture, odour, and digestion speed. These foods are created through the deconstruction of natural ingredients into modified chemical constituents, and recombination into new forms that bear little resemblance to anything found in nature. These alterations are so significant that nutrition scientists have coined a new term for them: ultra-processed.
Perhaps there’s a reason you’re reaching for junk food. Scientists tell us that it directly targets the brain's processing of pleasurable sensations; quickly delivering a signal to the brain's reward centers. This leads many people to find it as addictive as opioids or nicotine.
The implications are worrisome. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of American adults now have diabetes or pre-diabetes, three-quarters of adults are overweight, and about 100 million, or 42 percent, are obese. Why? Because ordering food by phone, driving to a fast food drive-through, or dining at a restaurant with someone else serving us a piping hot plate of food is too convenient.
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