What Are Processed Foods? + “Strength Training Builds More Than Muscles”

by Henry Gould – Jan 23, 2020

I stumbled across two interesting articles this week – both from Harvard Health Publishing – that addressed often discussed topics in the world of health and wellness.

The first –> “What are ultra-processed foods and are they bad for our health?”

The second –> “Strength training builds more than muscles”

Processed Foods

This is a phrase we hear extremely often as something to avoid in our diets, or minimize as much as possible. So what are processed foods?

According to nutritionist Katherine D. McManus, processed foods have been changed from their natural state and have the addition of 2 or 3 ingredients, likely salt, fat sugar or preservatives. For example, a can of tuna would be “processed” as it’s been salted, cooked and canned in water or oil, whereas a raw piece of tuna would be unprocessed. Similarly, a can of peaches would be processed (cooked in sugar syrup and preservatives) whereas a raw peach is unprocessed.

On the extreme end of the spectrum, ultra-processed foods are something that has been treated with many other ingredients, likely with little to no dietary fiber. Packaged cookies, hot dogs, frozen foods and desserts would all be examples of ultra-processed foods.

Unprocessed foods are the best foods…

So why are they bad? To put it simply, processed and ultra-processed foods allow us to simultaneously consume more calories while also limiting the feeling of satiation. It wouldn’t take much to eat a whole bag of halloween candy, which could easily be 2,000 calories of mainly sugar and fat. On the flip side, try eating 2,000 calories worth of broccoli and steamed chicken and you’ll feel full for hours.

A study cited in the article shows that people given the option of as much processed food as they wanted in a meal vs. unprocessed food would eat on average 500 calories more in a day. Not hard to see why…

Ultimately the conclusion is the same. Eat whole foods, minimally processed, for the majority of your meals in order to maintain a health diet.

Strength Training Builds More Than Muscles

If you’re a #YARDHARD regular, you know lifting weights makes your muscles grow stronger. Tell me something I don’t know!

Well… did you know strength training can help increase bone density, bone strength, and over time help prevent osteoporosis as we age?

After age 40, many studies show that bone density can decrease by as much as 1% per year. That’s bad! Weaker bones can lead to increased risk of fracture or break from relatively minor injuries that may not have posed as much of a risk in your early years.

Activities that put stress on bones can trigger bone-forming cells into action. This leads to maintaining bone strength, or even bone growth, which helps to prevent risk of fracture later in life.

So when Cumby, Shawzo and Torin are yelling at you to get under the bar and squat, deadlift, bench and curl, it’s not just so you look good at the beach!

Think of it as the ultimate insurance policy for living a long, healthy and happy life…

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