Processed Foods Avoidance

There are many reasons to avoid processed foods…

  1. They Ruin Your Taste. Processed foods often contain refined sugar, extra salt, and other flavor enhancers. Not only are these potentially unhealthy, but they dull your taste buds to natural flavors. The result? A need to eat more processed foods to get the taste you want, and natural foods that don’t taste as good as they should.
  2. Unhealthy Additives. Unhealthy chemical additives are added to foods so that they will stay fresh longer or to enhance color.
  3. Hidden Ingredients. Processed foods often contain hidden sugar, salt and fat. All three of these contribute to health problems.
  4. Mystery Ingredients. Many processed foods are filled with strange, indistinguishable parts and pieces. For example, hot dogs contain “edible offal”: animal skin, snouts, ears, esophagi, and worse.
  5. Lost Nutrients, Empty Calories. Processing takes a lot of the nutrients out of otherwise nutrient-rich foods. You get less of what your body needs.
  6. Fortification Through Synthetics. To make up for the loss of nutrients during processing, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added. Although helpful, these synthetics are not as healthy as their natural counterparts.
  7. Market Forces. When you spend money on processed foods, you encourage growth in this market. spending your money on fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, encourages others to enter this market.
  8. Expense. Although fruits and vegetables often appear to be expensive, they are often less expensive than processed foods, particularly when the nutrient content is considered. Frozen vegetables, for example, often cost 50% more than their fresh equivalents.
  9. They’re Dead! Much of the goodness is cooked or processed out of our foods. We do not benefit from the enzymes and nutrients the foods normally contain. Dead foods = Dead cells!

In short, the convenience of processed foods does not justify the cost to our health.

The bottom line is that we really don’t need to be a food company biochemist or a medical specialist to know what works best for our own systems, especially when it comes to what we eat. The fact is, all too often, the messages from the so-called “experts” are confusing, conflicting, and often counterproductive, and end up pointing us the wrong way, usually in the direction of their bottom line. As Dr. Gabriel Cousins says, “There is no necessity to sell out our health and shorten our lives so that someone else can profit from marketing so-called longer shelf life, modern, convenient foods.”

Ironically, it appears that the more tinkering and altering done to extend the shelf life of our food, the shorter our own lives. So one has to ask, are we giving our modern foods a longer shelf life and shortening our own? Dr. Janet Starr Hull puts it rather curtly, but succinctly, when she says, “People need to stop searching for excuses to eat all the junk food they want without penalty. In the long run, no one benefits from this product but the corporations.”

This following is a true story about puffed wheat from Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.

Four sets of rats were given special diets.

  • Group 1) plain whole wheat, water, synthetic vitamins and minerals.
  • Group 2) puffed wheat, water and same chemical nutrients.
  • Group 3) water, white sugar.
  • Group 4) water and the same chemical nutrients.
  • Which group’s lives were shortest?
  • Group 2, the puffed wheat group, only lived 2 weeks.
  • Group 3 lived for one month.
  • Group 4 lived for two months.
  • Group 1 lived for over a year.

Puffed wheat is created using a process of high temperature and pressure called ‘extrusion’. Nearly all boxed cereals are prepared by this extrusion process. Results like these suggested that there was something actually very toxic in the puffed grain itself! The pressure and heat involved may produce chemical changes which turn a nutritious grain into a poisonous substance.

Another unpublished experiment was carried out in 1960. Researchers at Ann Arbor University were given 18 laboratory rats. They were divided into three groups: one group received corn flakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the Cornflakes came in and water; the control group received rat chow and water. The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. The rats eating the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. The rats receiving the Cornflakes and water died before the rats that were eating the box! Additionally, before their death, the Cornflakes rats developed schizophrenic behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions. Autopsy revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves of the spine, all signs of insulin shock. The startling conclusion of this study is that there was more nourishment in the box than there was in the Cornflakes. Similar studies have not been conducted.

For breakfast consider going back to an old fashioned porridge. The grains used should be soaked overnight to get rid of the anti-nutrients which are normally neutralized in the sprouting process. Soak the grains in warm water and one tablespoon of something acidic like whey, yogurt or lemon juice and cook the next morning. Serve with some kind of fat like butter or cream, coconut and chopped nuts.

These conclusions are based upon some very limited studies, but are in keeping with the lessons learned by the observations of Weston Price, DDS earlier in this century.


Processed Foods Avoidance can help with the following




Excess Salt Consumption

Processed food often has salt added as a flavor enhancer to encourage product sales. Significantly reducing processed food consumption is always a good idea. The general rule is that any food in a package has had salt added. Look at the labels on the food that you eat. If the sodium content per 100gm is greater than 0.2gm, the food is high in salt.


Chronic Inflammation

Eating too much overcooked food (foods cooked at high temperatures resulting in glycation end products) causes an increase in inflammatory cytokines. Since most “junk” foods are cooked at extremely high temperatures, it makes sense to avoid french fries, hamburgers, potato chips, and other fried foods and snacks that are scorched with hydrogenated fats.

Glycation is the binding of a protein molecule to a glucose molecule, resulting in the formation of damaged protein structures.These destructive glycation reactions render proteins in the body cross-linked and barely functional, which results in age-related disease acceleration. As these degraded proteins accumulate, they cause cells to emit signals that induce the production of inflammatory cytokines (such as IL-6 and TNF-a).

Lab Values  



Refined carbohydrates are more readily absorbed than unrefined, and should be avoided in those with any glucose intolerance.


Headaches, Migraine/Tension

Unhealthy practices such as drinking coffee and soft drinks, eating sweets and other nutritionless foods contribute to the problem. When migraine and tension headache patients are placed on low-protein, natural plant-based diets, with no refined sweets of any type, they often recover within a month, never needing medication or further treatments to control their condition. If improvement is not complete, other detoxification techniques should be employed. When diet change has not yet produced its full effect, the use of cold and pressure are usually the most effective and practical means to control the pain.


Meniere's Disease

Among individuals with Meniere’s disease who replaced refined carbohydrates in their diet with high-fiber, complex carbohydrates, tinnitus frequently improved or disappeared. [Hyperlipoproteinemia, hyperinsulinism, and Meniere’s disease. South Med J 1981;74: pp.1194-7]

Organ Health  

Diabetes Type II

Many doctors and researchers agree that the regular consumption of tasty, mostly modern, commercially processed foods is the primary cause of adult-onset diabetes. Consuming anything sweet, regardless of its calorific content, may be sending a signal from the mouth to the brain that more insulin is needed. Refined and overly processed foods, convenience foods, and foods that are high in refined carbohydrates, high Glycemic Index foods, excessive salt and other additives should all be avoided for good health.


Increased Risk of Diabetes ll

Many doctors and researchers agree that the regular consumption of tasty, mostly modern, commercially processed foods is the primary cause of adult-onset diabetes. Consuming anything sweet, regardless of its calorific content, may be sending a signal from the mouth to the brain that more insulin is needed. Refined and overly processed foods, convenience foods, and foods that are high in refined carbohydrates, high Glycemic Index foods, excessive salt and other additives should all be avoided for good health.



Increased Risk of Alzheimer's / Dementia

Keep your weight down, and keep simple sugars and refined carbohydrates to a minimum. Researchers have found that diabetes mellitus (for which these are risk factors) nearly doubles the risk of developing both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.




Refined carbohydrates in white flour or sugar can cause dandruff and should be avoided because they deplete the body of B vitamins.



May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended


Refined Sugar

The term 'refined sugar' includes not only the “sugar” listed in ingredient listings, but also brown sugar, glucose, fructose and dextrose. Obvious sources include jams and jellies; hidden sources are often mayonnaise, ketchup, salad dressings and other condiments.


Plays a vital role in regulating many body functions. They act as catalysts in nerve response, muscle contraction and the metabolism of nutrients in foods. They regulate electrolyte balance and hormonal production, and they strengthen skeletal structures.


Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.


A hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to elevated blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver, muscles, and fat cells to remove glucose from the blood for use or storage.


(Tbsp) Equivalent to 15cc (15ml).

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