Food Processing Effect on Nutrition

Unless your food is fresh from the garden, there is going to be some processing involved in getting it to market.

Many factors determine the effect that the process is going to have on the nutritional value. The main one is how much heat is generated or used in the preparation of the food.

Most of us think about the big company’s food processing as being unhealthy.

Food Processing

There are benefits to using modern processing facilities like killing the harmful bacteria and microorganism that cause people to get sick.

Awareness of the trade-off between making things safe for the public and losing the nutritional value in the food.

The vitamins and minerals which are less affected by the heat in the process is something to take into consideration when evaluating the product and to decide if it is a right fit for you.

Generally, the water-soluble vitamins (the B and C group vitamins) are more affected by heat processing or cooking in general.

Fat-soluble vitamins (groups A, D, E, & K) made it through the processing better and stored in the fat cells, which stays in the body longer.

The Effect Food Preparation Processing Methods Have on Food.

Most people may not realize that the processing food begins with the type of fertilizers used on the ground before planting the seeds.

High levels of fertilizers reduce the vitamin C content in the fruits, and vegetable crops. It does not matter if the compost is organic or not the result is the same.

There is so much hype in this are that when people hear “organic,” they automatically assume that it is better for you.

Here is an excellent example of why it does not matter!

When it comes to grains and the milling process, it is well-known that the less the grain milled, the more nutrients stay in the product.

Fresh Wheat

The milling is going to strip some nutrients, and fiber that often replaced with inferior ingredients that the natural grain contains.

Loaves of bread that are available in the stores, have so many advertisements attached to them that it is difficult to ignore.

Better reason to take the time to understand how each of the milling processes work, equipping yourself with the knowledge to make a better choice.

What about the choice between canned or frozen vegetables?

There are plenty of arguments on both sides of the issue.

Vegetables and fruits that are harvested and go straight to the processing Plant have the highest nutrient content at that point.

In my opinion it is better to get fresh vegetables when possible, the next best would be freshly frozen, and lastly the canned vegetables.

Unless there is a natural disaster of some sort, then canned goods are your best bet because they do not need a freezer.

Heat and Cooking Effect on Food

When we cook food, we are mostly doing the same thing as the big processing places on a smaller scale.

Cooking with heat, in water or not, it is going to have some effect on the nutritional content of the food.

Some vegetables become more nutritious after cooking because it breaks down the parts of the plant that is not digestible without cooking it.

Others such as tomatoes, release more of the phytochemicals in the sauce when you cook it than it does when eating it raw.

Temperature gauge

The temperature when cooking meat is essential, make sure these different types of “meat” reach these temperatures to ensure its safe to eat:

  • Poultry Any Preparation – 165° F
  • Ground meat Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb – 160° F
  • Fresh Steaks, Roast, Chops – 145° F (minimum 3 minutes to serve)
  • Seafood Fin Fish – 145° F
  • Eggs and Egg Dishes – 160° F
  • Leftovers – 165° F

FULL MEAT TEMP CHART

Food poison is dangerous; undercooked meats can lead to E. Coli, Salmonella, and Listeria.

Each of these food-borne illnesses can cause symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fever, and muscle aches. The symptoms can continue for a week or more.

Special note on meats put through a mechanical tenderizer, the blades in these machines penetrate every piece of the meat all the way through.

If there are any bacteria present, all the meat will become contaminated.

Good Meat Markets and Restaurants will make sure their equipment is kept clean, and that will show in the way the business presents itself.

Effects of Eating Processed Food

We all are eating some processed food every day even if we are the ones preparing it.

The effects of eating processed food (mainly protein bars) produced by company’s; will be the focus of discussion in this article.

Using protein bars in your diet is not good or bad, but it depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

Protein Bar

The higher levels of protein help to preserve lean muscle and support to curve hunger between meals.

This protein is critical to those who are cutting calories at meals which will leave you hungrier between meals.

What are the ingredients that we need to look at for the nutrition labels?

Sugar content is the first one. The lower, the better! But, natural sugars from fruits are better than refined sugar.

Fat content can work against your body in absorbing the protein or even the sugar if you are eating it after a workout and in need of replacing the energy from it.

Keep the ingredients to a minimum and not have too many elements that you cannot pronounce easily.

This will be a healthier alternative than the other types of protein bars. The better option would be to eat boiled eggs, grilled chicken, or a cup of non-fat Greek yogurt if available.

Types of Carbohydrates in Food

Mainly, there are two main types of carbohydrates contained in food, simple and complex carbohydrates.

The simple carbohydrate is what we naturally crave because the body processes these very easily.

Sugar

Studies show that addiction to sugar can be more difficult to break than it is to break the habit of cocaine.

Since I have not ever used cocaine, I’ll stick to what I do know…

Kicking the sugar habit has been ten times harder than quitting smoking.

After being a smoker for many years, quitting took a mindset and was done immediately, for the first few days it was hard. But, after a month the habit was replaced, it got more relaxed and more comfortable as time goes by.

With sugar, it is so much harder, people must have some sugar, but it is hard to keep the balance. This effect is also a significant contributor to gaining weight after quitting smoking.

I would agree that sugar is one of the most addicting substance that we must deal with in life.

Noodles

The complex carbohydrate is what we get through rice, noodles, beans, peas, corn and other starchy vegetables.

These complex carbs have not been a problem for me to remove from my diet. Many people have more issues with cutting these out of their foods, but it does not seem to be near as severe as the sugar issue.

Plus, there are other benefits from the starchy vegetables because they contain other nutrients plus fiber that is useful to the body.

Conclusion

Food processing is a big part of our lives and is not going away.

It is essential that we take a step back and look at our diets; see where we can make improvements to the choices we are making.

The benefits of taking the time and energy now will help you realized the outcome you want in the future.

Better health or more complications and health issues that will cost you more in money and your ability to do the things you like.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this article, please leave your comments, suggestion, or any questions below.