Impact of ultra-processed foods on health

How does the food you eat actually affect your health?

We all know that eating a healthy diet is beneficial and can help prevent disease. Numerous studies conclude that eating a rich and varied diet, that provides good nutrients, allows us to reach our full potential and supports a healthy immune system to protect us from illness and disease. But how does your diet actually impact your health?

How Does Food Impact Our Health?

The food we eat is a basic and fundamental part of our lives and provides our bodies with the information and ingredients for us to function properly. Without this correct information, the processes that take place in our body are compromised and as a result our health declines.

If your body is getting too much food or food that does not give the correct information, we are at risk or becoming overweight or undernourished and therefore at risk of developing diseases or conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease or Arthritis.

You may be familiar with this quote….

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
― Hippocrates

In short: Food acts as medicine, to maintain, prevent, and treat disease.

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What Does Food Actually Do In Our Bodies?

The nutrients; i.e. vitamins and minerals, in the food we eat to allow the cells in our bodies to perform the necessary physical functions. These nutrients are essential for growth and without them health declines

When a cell does not regularly receive its requirements, the metabolic processes slow down or even stop

In other words, nutrients give our bodies instructions about how to function.

Thinking about food in this way gives us a view of nutrition that goes beyond calories or grams, good foods or bad foods. This view leads us to focus on foods we should include rather than foods to exclude.

Instead of viewing food as the enemy, we look to food as a way to create health and reduce disease by helping the body maintain function.

Often our daily diets do not always provide all the information our bodies need. Processed foods can contain chemically-altered fats and sugars, which the body does not recognise and therefore cannot use or worse gives the body the wrong information.

Many researchers now believe that the problems of diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Disease and Cancer worldwide are partly related to diet. In addition, research shows that these conditions can be attributed to a network of biological dysfunction and the food we eat is an important factor in that dysfunction, in part because our diets lack the necessary balance of nutrients.

A balanced diet will provide the nutrients that interact with each other to allow the body’s functions to perform efficiently, so you can truly thrive!

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May is head nutritionist at The Cookaway, a chef-led meal delivery recipe box service. She has also created her own "healthy" range of recipes that include vegan and plant based recipes for The Cookaway.

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