Transitioning to a healthy diet that requires leaving behind your favorite comfort foods and sweet treats is often a daunting task. Instead of making extreme changes in diet and completely reversing the responsibility for current food choices, most people take a more moderate approach. This often involves switching to supposedly healthier substitutes for snacks and packaged foods. This can take the form of choosing the “healthy” fries roasted or baked, air frying instead of deep frying, opting for a diet soda instead of the usual choice, etc. However, they are not as healthy as one would like. to believe.
For starters, packaged (and sometimes even homemade) foods that are roasted or cooked over high heat end up forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These are known to be toxic to the body, often increasing the risk of heart disease and acting as biomarkers of aging. They also contribute to the development and progression of diseases such as diabetes, diseases associated with the gut microbiome, cancer, etc.
In conversation with The Indian Express, Dr. Priyanka Rohatgi, Chief Nutritionist at Apollo Hospital, said that “the body can handle some amount of AGEs, but daily exposure to high levels is bad. for health”.
Air frying is also not a solution to the health problems frying creates. While the former reduces the formation of harmful chemicals like acrylamide and AGEs compared to its alternative, air-fried foods still contain these chemicals, which should not be ingested in excess.
- If one switches to calorie-free foods, including diet sodas, under the impression that they will lead to weight loss and be healthier, they should reconsider that as well.
- These foods contain fat substitutes and artificial sweeteners, which interfere with the body’s metabolism.
- Scientists have reported that diet sodas can stimulate appetite by altering sweet taste receptors, stimulating hunger hormones and activating dopamine responses in the brain.
- If you’ve noticed you crave a snack after a diet coke, that’s probably the reason.
- Several observational studies have also shown that the use of artificial sweeteners and the consumption of large amounts of diet sodas are linked to an increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
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If somehow processed foods have been found to be free from the ailments listed above, it’s wise to check out potato starch powder or maltodextrin. Packaged and frozen foods often contain this powder, which is used as an additive to improve the flavor and shelf life of foods.
- Processed potato starch negatively affects gut health by allowing bacteria to stick to the cells that line the intestines.
- Maltodextrin is also sweet and works similarly to cocaine, increasing your tolerance to it and making you crave it more.
- With the presence of sugar in the body, the system works to break it down earlier, which often results in poor absorption of micronutrients.
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