Fresh Vs. Processed Foods

processed foods

People who are interested in regaining their health through exercise and positive lifestyle changes must take a good look at the foods they eat. Diets full of processed and manufactured foods often lack any nutritive value and only serve to slow down the body’s metabolic processes. For an athlete, that can spell disaster. Those who want to make positive changes must first begin to include fresh, wholesome foods that offer the nutrients the body needs.

Fresh Foods

processed foodsAthletes need nutrients. People who are trying to lose extra weight or get fit also need nutrients to achieve their goals. Fresh foods help health conscious individuals get positive results. They add nutrients to the diet that the body needs to function efficiently. When it comes to providing energy, fresh fruits and vegetables break down quickly and completely giving the body extra energy instead of consuming more than is needed. Protein rich foods offer sustained levels of energy as well as  work within the body to build new muscle tissue. Because fresh foods break down so completely and have such a wide array of nutrients, they are able to help the body rid itself of toxins and wastes.

Processed Foods

Processed foods are created solely for convenience. The processing methods that are used to create them destroy vital nutrients and add unnecessary additives and preservatives. Because of the synthetic materials used in the foods creation, they are extremely hard for the digestive system to break down. Overloading the body with processed foods can cause the liver to become sluggish. This eventually results in the digestive system slowing down and less nutrients being absorbed into the body. Over time, energy levels drop and fatigue prevents a person from exercising effectively. Eating processed foods occasionally will not have a dramatic impact on a person’s health. Making them the main staple of a person’s diet, however, can lead to disaster in the way of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Breaking the Fast Food Habit

As a person begins to alter their lifestyle to include healthier habits, the hardest one to break has to do with convenient foods. It is easier to warm up a meal in the microwave and eat on the go than make a healthy dinner. Gradually incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into the diet is a start. Granola and fresh fruits make excellent snacks that can take the place of potato chips and other unhealthy foods. When it comes to larger meals, it is sometimes easier to cook large amounts of foods like lasagna and casseroles and then freeze them in single serving containers. This provides nutritious wholesome meals that are quick and convenient when a person is in a rush. Breaking the fast food habit takes time and considerable effort, but the health benefits that are gained will help a person live a full, more active life.

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