Processed Foods

Topics: Nutrition, Sugar, Trans fat Pages: 9 (1293 words) Published: May 28, 2014
Brian Alvarez
Mr.Shepard
ETS 142
18 December 2013
Health Concerns of Processed Foods
Processed foods have been created mainly for convenience and some of the ingredients in these products may not be safe or healthy for us. Processed foods are more convenient because if we don’t finish the product or don’t consume it we don’t have to worry about it spoiling anytime soon as the packaging and ingredients prevent bacteria from forming and keep the food edible but can these extra ingredients and packaging have a health risk. Altering the product can have a different effect in our bodies and how we process them. There is a debate whether processed foods are good or bad for us but it just comes down to the product. Therefore, it’s important for us to know the foods we are going to consume and if some of those ingredients pose a health concern. Diet soda is thought to be a better and healthier choice but the artificial sweetener can actually cause more harm, so it’s neither better nor healthier. Artificial sweeteners can trick 1

Brian Alvarez
our bodies into thinking its consuming sugar, but once we do consume real sugars our bodies aren’t sure whether to process the sugar so this can cause a health effect such as metabolic confusion and over consumption. Research has been done by the University of Virginia in Richmond showing that artificial sweeteners could confuse the body’s intake in calories which would lead to over eating. Artificial sweeteners are mainly used by people who are on diets and diabetics also it doesn’t contribute to tooth decay and cavities. These artificial sweeteners can be great for diabetics since they need to control their sugar intake this allows them to have more control on foods they consume.(nearly 26 million people in American have diabetes) Another processed food which is debated is Margarine such as the product “I can’t believe it’s not butter”. The soft margarine that comes in containers is made from vegetable oils and has less saturated fat than standard butter and stick margarine. People who mainly use stick margarine on their foods have a higher risk of getting heart disease because it contains Tran’s fats so this causes a decrease in good cholesterol in the body. Soft margarine can be a better alternative but it depends on 2

Brian Alvarez
which margarine we buy and consume. Stick Margarine is actually worse for a person’s cholesterol than soft margarine and butter but between the two soft margarine is better as long as the labeling says no Tran’s fats. Food manufacturers mainly use trans fat in their products but now that we see the health risks from consuming trans fats companies started cutting back on using them because of the potential health risks. Trans fat has been linked with health risks such as high cholesterol and puts us more at risk for heart disease. Trans Fat is a man made substance that is a mixture of hydrogen gas and vegetable oil, this makes the oil have a longer shelf life, makes the food taste better, is cheaper and enhances flavor. These are the main reasons manufacturers use trans fat in their products. When a product says no trans fat there is still a possibility it may contain trans fats because products are legally allowed to put no trans fats in their product if their serving portions contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fats. It’s recommended not to consume more than 2 grams of Tran fats per day and in products that say no trans fats we should check the ingredients in the label to see if it contains hydrogenated oils to make sure it has no trans fats. 3 Brian Alvarez

Processed foods tend to contain high fructose corn syrup because of its sweet taste, low cost to make and is great at mixing with other ingredients. High fructose corn syrup is still being...
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