Donuts, candies, sodas galore! You love them, the world loves them but the harsh reality is, processed foods severely hamper (dare I say, DESTROY) your metabolism. Regardless of what Willy Wonka says, the only ticket found within a chocolate bar is a ticket to metabolic disorders.

Seemingly perfected by Americans, this processed food frenzy contributes significantly to the prevalence of heart disease, obesity, and even death. However, there is good news. You can immediately alter your consumption of processed foods and restore your metabolism.

Before we answer “Why Processed Foods Destroy Your Metabolism,” you should know what we mean by “processed foods.”

What Are Processed Foods? tells us that processed foods are any food product altered, in any way, for consumption. This includes boiling an egg, peeling a potato, and grinding meat. Unless you grab that onion and pop it into your mouth direct from the ground, it’s considered processed. These simple, pre-prepped foods are very healthy and nutritious.

Heavily processed foods like cookies, candies, and other snacks laden with sugar are the real culprits up for discussion. A quick glance at the ingredient label tells the real story. Foods ready to eat upon opening are usually heavily processed. Chemicals, sweeteners, and artificial flavors saturate these foods making them convenient, providing a longer shelf life, and most of all, over-stimulating our brains and bodies in all the wrong ways.

Why Do Processed Foods Destroy Your Metabolism?

Several reasons contribute to the detriment of your metabolism when consuming heavily processed foods.

  • Refined grains like white flour, white bread, white rice, rapidly digest in your body, thus burning little to no calories and slowing your metabolism. High protein, fiber, and other foods increase your metabolism and burn more calories during digestion.
  • “Processed foods are hyper rewarding,” according to Snack foods, by design, stimulate our brains, causing us to crave them. The more you consume, the less your metabolism has to work.
  • The lack of nutrition found in junk food makes for quick digestion. This decreases the duration between hunger urges.
  • Consuming high quantities of substances, like sugar and sodium, found in processed foods, causes Metabolic syndrome and other chronic disorders.

Processed Foods to Avoid Include:

  • Refined Grains: White flour and white rice products. To “refine” a grain is to remove its nutritional power. These foods include white bread, white pastas, white rice, cakes, cookies, donuts, crackers, and other pastries.
  • Added Sugars: Too much sugar slows your metabolism and too much high fructose corn syrup leads to Type 2 diabetes and some other nasty disorders. Added sugars are very cheap to produce which is why manufacturers include them in many food items. Foods to avoid include sodas, juices, candy, and most products with added sugar.
  • Diet Products: Labeled as low-fat, fat-free, diet. These foods are typically heavily processed to remove the natural fats and sugars. Check the ingredients label. If you can’t find any of the ingredients in the grocery, you should probably avoid the food.
  • Refined Oils: Food moguls cleverly extract oil from vegetables and other sources using chemicals. Afterwards, they solidify the oil (hydrogenate). This process creates Omega-6 fatty acids, the metabolism killer.
  • Instant Meals: Frozen pizza, microwave-ready dinners, ramen noodles, and more. These foods have artificial ingredient lists a mile long.
  • Fast Foods: Loaded with sodium, fat, and all kinds of other materials, avoid fast food at all costs.

It’s never too late to begin a healthy regimen. Yes, processed food destroys your metabolism, but thankfully, the human body allows for mistakes. You can bolster your metabolism with these easy methods.