I hope this email finds you in good health and high spirits. I am writing to talk to you about the damaging effects that eating processed foods can have on the body. As our lives have become increasingly fast-paced, convenience often takes precedence over the quality of our food choices. However, it is crucial that we understand the potential consequences of relying heavily on processed foods.

Processed foods are defined as food products that have undergone alterations to their fresh state. These foods have gone through techniques such as; chemical extraction, extreme heating, canning, freezing, or adding preservatives. Often offering convenience, extended shelf life, and attractive flavours, yet the health implications associated with their consumption are a growing concern.

One of the primary concerns with processed foods lies in their nutritional composition. In many cases, essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fibre are lost or significantly reduced during processing. They also tend to be high in unhealthy additives like trans fats, artificial sweeteners, fillers and refined sugars. These ingredients can contribute to various health problems, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Often processed foods are filled with omega-6 oils such as canola/rapeseed, sunflower, soybean, and corn oil. These oils are highly processed. Canola oil can also be used as a fuel alternative to diesel and a component of items made with plasticisers, such as tyres. Canola crops are often genetically modified (GMO) to improve oil quality and increase plant tolerance to herbicides. Definitely not something that sounds natural to me!

With these oils appearing in many foods, from oat milk to seaweed snacks, canned fish and even bread, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is often skewed, with Omega-6 sneaking into our diets in ever-increasing numbers. Omega-6 is important to our health, and consuming healthy sources found naturally in foods, such as nuts and seeds, is good for the body. However, increasing the consumption of processed omega-6 can lead to many health complications.

Chronic Inflammation: omega 6’s can promote inflammation in the body. While acute inflammation is a natural immune response, chronic inflammation can lead to a host of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even certain types of cancer.

Cardiovascular Health: Studies suggest that a high intake of omega-6 oils, especially when combined with a low intake of omega-3s, may contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. Balancing the ratio between these two types of fatty acids is crucial for maintaining cardiovascular health.

Obesity and Metabolic Disorders: Some research indicates that a diet rich in omega-6 oils may promote weight gain and contribute to developing metabolic disorders, including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Brain Health: While omega-6 fatty acids are essential for brain function, an excessive intake can disrupt the delicate balance between omega-6 and omega-3 in the brain. This imbalance has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, and other mental health disorders.

Immune System Dysregulation: The pro-inflammatory nature of omega-6 oils can adversely affect the immune system, leading to imbalances and potential complications, including autoimmune disorders.

Furthermore, processed foods often lack the complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein essential for a well-balanced diet. This imbalance can lead to increased hunger and overeating, as our bodies may not feel satiated despite consuming an excess of empty calories. Consequently, this can contribute to weight gain and obesity, which in turn may increase the risk of chronic diseases.

In addition to the nutritional concerns, processed foods are often associated with a higher glycaemic index. This means they can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a sudden crash. These fluctuations can lead to feelings of fatigue, decreased concentration, and increased cravings for more processed foods, perpetuating an unhealthy cycle.

It is important to note that not all processed foods are created equal. Some minimally processed options, such as organic frozen fruits and vegetables or canned wild sardines, can still be part of a healthy diet. However, it is crucial to read labels carefully and make informed choices, favouring products with minimal additives and artificial ingredients.

To counter the negative effects of processed foods, I strongly encourage adopting a whole foods-based diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, grass-fed, wild or organic proteins, and healthy fats. By prioritising natural, unprocessed options, we provide our bodies with the nutrients they need for optimal functioning and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.

In conclusion, the widespread consumption of processed foods has significantly impacted our health and well-being. While convenience is undoubtedly a factor in our busy lives, it is vital to recognise the potential consequences of relying heavily on these products. Let us make conscious choices about the foods we consume, prioritise whole and minimally processed options, and take steps towards improving our overall health.


Wishing you good health and happiness.

Warm regards,
Olivia Redfern


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