It is difficult to stay away from the aisles of processed food in supermarket. But what exactly comprises processed foods? Canned or dried food, breakfast cereals, ready-to-eat meals, pickles, jams, jellies, bottled juices, sauces, frozen food and so on, all comprise processed foods. They are loaded with chemical and natural preservatives such as sugar, salts and tran fats to enhance taste as well as its shelf life, says Kanchan Patwardhan, clinical nutritionist consultant, Kanchan’s House of Health & Nutrition & Arogya Hospital, Thane.
THE DOWNSIDES Processed foods contain a lot of trans fats, which make them crispy. Trans fats increase LDL cholesterol (associated with an increased risk of heart disease) and decrease HDL cholesterol, the ‘protective’ cholesterol. Processed foods contain lots of hidden salts and sugar which not only increase your blood pressure and sugar levels but also adversely affect your kidneys. It also contains a lot of preservatives and pesticides which may be one of the reasons for the deadly cancer. AISHWARYA P VAIDYA