Can processed Foods lead to Food Sensitivities?

Anyone can be sensitive to a certain food. Eating spicy food may do it for you or dairy products. The result is a bout with gastrointestinal problems that you would rather avoid. But, could the culprit be processed foods?

The Skinny on Processed Foods

The jury is still out on processed foods. Some say that they are better for you, such as microwave meals pushed by Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers. Others say that they are packed with unhealthy things that can lead to buildup of toxins in the body as well as feeding the “fat” epidemic that is common in this country. Comfort has led to compromised health.

One thing that is not disputed is that processed foods are not fresh. Fresh foods contain nothing besides what is native to the type of food in question. Buying from local growers helps ensure that food has not been altered in a lab or through chemical means.

Processed foods need preservatives to increase their shelf life. This doesn’t only apply to microwave meals but anything prepared for you ahead of time: cakes, pies, cookies, cereals, box prepared foods and etcetera. Read the labels to see what we mean.

The Skinny on the Body

The body was not designed to process certain food ingredients. On any given day, the body received the majority of its nutrition from food. It is natural and the best source of vitamins, minerals and the like.

Processed foods contain other manufactured ingredients used for things like color, flavoring, preserving and texture. These substances are food-grade but that doesn’t mean that they are body-friendly. Consider the following:

* Sweeteners (sorbitol, sucralose)
* Anti-caking agents (cellulose in shredded cheese, for example)
* Thickeners
* Emulsifiers
* Bulking agents

These all have different names on the label so it is important to read and become familiar with them. Although a very small percentage of food intolerance is related directly to food additives, that doesn’t mean that you might not be in that category. Some are sensitive to dyes used in food coloring or the salt like preservatives like sulfites and sulfates.

Avoiding the Potential Problem

Although most people are sensitive to either dairy, yeast, gluten or some form of sugar, there is no reason to compound your problem. When choosing processed food, weigh the pros and cons of your choices. Can you eat the same type of food only fixed at home? What are the other alternatives to choosing that processed food?

Try to choose all natural food ingredients and prepare food at home. This way, you know what is in your dishes and, if sensitivity symptoms arise, you can find the offending ingredient a bit easier.