Any food that is commercially prepared for convenience, such as the ones you find in boxes, bags and cans at the grocery store, are considered to be processed foods. Not only are the natural ingredients in these so-called foods altered dramatically from their original form, but harmful chemicals such as additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors are added which change the food even further. These added chemicals are designed by the food industry to enhance texture, flavor, color and shelf-life of the product.
Many of these toxic, man-made chemicals found in processed foods have been shown to be harmful to human health. They have been linked to obesity, learning disorders, depression, chronic pain, auto-immune disorders and cancer. Many of these chemicals are similar in structure to natural compounds, so they are readily taken up by cells. A slight difference in compound structure compared to it’s natural form can disrupt the function, structure and replication of normal cells, and may ultimately lead to the development of cancerous cells.
Trans-fats or hydrogenated fats (which enhance flavor and extend shelf-life of the product), aspartame (an artificial sweetener) and nitrosamines (added to processed meats to retain their bright color) are some examples of specific toxins in processed foods that have been linked to cancer. In order to reduce your risk of cancer, eliminate all processed foods and replace them with whole foods or foods that do not have a bar-code on the package.