How Fake Foods Are Invading The Home: The Reality Of Ultra-Processed Foods

fuel Apr 26, 2023
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We’ve entered an era where the look, taste, and longevity of food has trumped actual nutrition. In order to market food and increase sales, stores and food producers have gotten us to focus on everything besides what food primarily exists to do: fuel us. When proper nutrition ceases to be the goal, fake foods disguised as nutritious foods come out of the woodwork. And they’re very effective at sneaking into our homes and sabotaging our health

Fake Foods Never To Eat 🚫

Because nutrition has been sidelined in most processed foods, it’s usually best to just avoid them. However, there are some that clearly work against your health that you should actively avoid.


6 Foods To Stay Away From ✋

In most of these Ultra Processed Foods (we call them UPFs), there are ingredients you don’t want in your body—ever. Here are a few of the main culprits and why they’re so unhealthy for you.

  • Diet Soda 🥤 Packed with sugar alternatives that are more chemical than anything else, this drink might taste good and present itself as healthy, but it takes a toll on your body over the long run. 
  • Energy Drinks 💨  Similar to soda, these drinks either have high amounts of artificial sweeteners, sugar, or both. They’re also incredibly high in caffeine, which can interfere with your circadian rhythm, and is also harmful in large amounts.
  • Microwave Popcorn 🍿  This might seem harmless. After all, it’s just corn and butter, right? Not so fast. First of all, the corn itself has often been genetically modified to help it pop fuller and faster. These harmful changes clash with your body’s natural biology. Second, there’s more than just butter added. Artificial flavor, preservatives, and even coloring are a few of the harmful add ons that are sneaking into each handful.
  • Spray Cheese 🧀 Spray cheese often has the same harmful ingredients added as microwave popcorn. This is a food better avoided.
  • Chicken Nuggets 🐔 Because kids tend to love them, chicken nuggets are a tempting meal option for parents who find themselves tight on time—so yes, that would be all of us. But the harmful ingredients hidden inside these convenient morsels should cause us to think twice. MSG, sugar, wheat flour (which tends to be ultra processed with tons of additives), and a host of preservatives are just a few of the ingredients in this snack we should be wary of.
  • White or “Wheat” Bread 🍞 This one seems so harmless. It’s just bread, right? How much bad stuff can you really pack into bread? You’d be amazed. For a staple food that has contained just a handful of ingredients for centuries, our modern society has managed to pack an impressively long list of unpronounceable ingredients into this once simple food. Bread often contains things like High Fructose Corn Syrup (a major health no-no), and sugar. Even when bread labels show things like “wheat,” be aware that wheat grown in America isn’t all that healthy these days after being consistently genetically modified for decades. Always check the ingredients list if you want to know the full story. You can learn more about how to read a food label and download our free guide here.

Why Is It So Hard To Avoid Fake Food? 🤷

If these kinds of foods are so bad for us, why is it so hard to keep them out of our carts and cupboards?

There are three main reasons:

  • Budget 💲
  • Time  ⏰
  • Pleasure 😋

    These foods are cheap, so they tend to be easier on our wallets. They’re also incredibly convenient, so they save us time. And finally, they give us a quick burst of pleasure because they’re tasty. Cheap, convenient and tasty. That’s a hard combination to pass up.

The problem? The short term perks these foods provide are wiped out by the harm they cause down the road.

The Foundations Program

Teaching Families Healthy Lifestyle Habits That Will Last For A Lifetime.


What The Food Industry Isn’t Telling You About Fake Foods

Because the food industry is a business, there are often inconvenient truths companies avoid sharing so they don’t damage their profits. Here are a few of the facts they’re hiding from you.


Rise In Chronic Diseases

Highly processed, genetically modified foods have been linked to the increase in chronic disease in our culture. It’s no coincidence that over the last century while food has become more processed and less natural, chronic disease has risen as well. The increase in food productivity efficiency, and the decrease in cost has come at a price. A price many Americans are paying in their later years.


Low Nutrient Value

Since the new face of the food industry is all about taste, quantity, and the look and longevity of the food, nutrient rich foods are getting bumped to the back of the line. Nutritious foods aren’t as glamorous, and are harder and more expensive to produce. This has led to our grocery store shelves being stocked with exciting looking foods full of empty calories.


How To Avoid Fake Foods ⚠️

Here are a few warning signs to look out for when assessing if you have fake foods hiding in your cupboards. 


Watch Out For Packaged Foods ❗️

Anything packaged is in danger of being fake food. In order to be in a package in the first place, it has to undergo some level of processing, and more often than not, it doesn’t just stop with putting good, wholesome food into a bag. To preserve it and make it more glamorous, companies add extra ingredients and chemicals.

One tip to avoid these food traps is to shop the perimeter of the store as much as possible. Fresh food tends to be refrigerated along the edges of the store, and fresh food is a much better alternative to its preservative-packed cousin.


Long Lists Of Ingredients 📝

If something in your kitchen has a long list of ingredients, watch out. Most of the items on the list will probably be hard to pronounce, and that’s a dead giveaway of foods that have been highly processed. All those extra ingredients are just there to make the food look and taste more appealing, and to help it last longer. Not only don’t they add any nutritional value, but they cancel out any value that was there in the first place.

Be Proactive NOW! 🚀

➤ Check the ingredients list on some of the items in your kitchen to see how healthy or unhealthy they actually are. You can find our blog on the topic, and a free guide to interpreting an ingredient label here.

 Download our free “How To Read Food Labels” guide!

 Check out our youtube video on the same topic


Start decoding your food now!

Changing the way you eat starts small. Fake foods are the biggest hindrance to your nutrition, so tackling this area is a great place to start in making your health a priority. Though fake foods often disguise themselves in an attempt to sneak into your home, with the right information and commitment, you can start weeding out these health sabotagers and enjoy better health starting today.

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