We all to some extent know that we should not consume processed foods. Yet processed foods are selling like crazy and despite more awareness about the unhealthy nature of processed foods, most of us keep eating them! Kellogg has even developed a weight loss diet that advocates eating their processed products to lose weight, called the Special K Diet.
Everyone, everywhere, has had processed foods sometime in his or her life, whether in the form of gourmet sausages, cold cuts or canned foods, or breakfast cereals. As with most concepts, even processed food has its fair share of decriers and supporters, because it has its advantages and disadvantages.
Despite its disadvantages, many people keep consuming processed foods, so let’s think about why that is.
Here is a brief list of the various benefits of processed foods for those who consume them.
1. Processed food is a godsend for people who are new to cooking, whether it is an individual who is newly married and plans on becoming a homemaker or a bachelor that lives away from home and cannot or does not want to spend much on restaurant food. Processed food is perfect for them because processed food is ready to cook or microwave, and usually tasty.
2. Processed foods simply save a lot of time and effort, especially nowadays when everyone is super busy with their life activities. Even in married households, many women and men both work, leaving less time for cooking meals from scratch. Processed snacks are becoming commonplace in households as parents have no time to bake or prepare snacks from scratch, such as cookies and cakes.
3. Another perceived advantage of processed food is the variety in which they are available. Go to any supermarket or mall that sells processed foods and cold storage foods, and you would be surprised at the various types available. Right from extra spicy sausages to sausages dunked in pepper, everything and more is available. The best part is that you do not have to worry about whether the spices are too much or too little, or whether the combination is not right. Many processed products are manufactured by conglomerates and businesses, and if some flavor or ingredient combination is not a hit in the market, they will be pulled out of the market leaving only the favorable ones.
4. Lastly, and probably the number one reason people continue to eat tons of processed foods is that they are cheap! The perceived value for the money is great, since they are literally much cheaper than whole foods. In addition, whole foods are perishable with a shelf life, whereas most processed foods last months or even longer.
While processed foods are super convenient and perhaps even a “life-saver” for those super busy people, keep in mind that, long-term, they are unhealthy and can easily lead to serious diseases.
Try to squeeze in a fresh salad and apple here and there every week, so that your body is not soley fed by processed foods!