Processed junk food is everywhere. You go to malls, big stores, shopping centers, and even small shops, you shall find them filled with the stock which has been proved harmful to health. Such foods are available in shiny colorful packing even in airplanes and trains.
Our generation has developed a taste for processed junk food in a way that everyone has tried it many times. Our social gatherings are filled with trays containing such foods.
Our kids avoid organic foods and love to go for fries, chips, candies, and the likes because publicity on electronic, print and social media have created an abnormal hype for their taste. Even when you consult doctors, they fail to point out any problem with processed junk food users.
The scientists, doctors, and organic food lovers have been trying to convince the people that processed junk food items are not suitable for health. A lot of studies have been conducted to prove the processed food facts, but nothing seems working.
CNN has run a news item that a seventeen years old boys went permanently blind on preferring processing foods for a couple of years.
CNN reports that the boy “told doctors he had only eaten fries from the fish and chip shop, Pringles potato chips, white bread, slices of processed ham and sausage since elementary school, and he avoided foods with certain textures.”
Interestingly, the boy had attended doctors when he was 14 years old. The doctors couldn’t identify some significant problem with the health of boy, and he was treated with vitamin B12 injections besides advice to improve his daily food intake.
CNN further reports:
“One year later, there were signs of hearing loss and vision symptoms, but doctors did not find the cause.
His vision had worsened to the point of blindness by 17 years of age, and doctors identified vitamin B12 deficiency, low copper and selenium levels, a high zinc level, reduced vitamin D level and bone level density, according to a statement from the University of Bristol.
By this stage, vision damage was permanent.”
This report shows that avoiding organic foods and preferring processed junk food not only cause you to be obese but also damages your hearing and vision. According to the CNN report:
“Researchers from Bristol Medical School and the Bristol Eye Hospital examined the case and concluded that the patient suffered nutritional optic neuropathy, a dysfunction of the optic nerve.
In developed countries, it is mostly caused by bowel problems or medication that interferes with the absorption of nutrients, and it is rarely caused entirely by poor diet because food is readily available.
In some places, malnutrition caused by poverty, war, and drought is linked to higher rates of nutritional optic neuropathy, according to a statement
The condition is reversible if treated early but can lead to blindness if no action is taken.”
While reading such stories, we feel impulsive to throw away all processed junk food from our lives. It seems easy but not always, especially when you have kids fond of fries, chips, ice cream, candies, etc. The best way is to prefer organic foods whenever you get a chance. It is also essential to educate your children about dangers of processed junk food. It may not seem more natural to change our preferences immediately. However, when we are health conscious, we can replace such foods with organic foods slowly.
The World Heald Organization (WHO) has issued some pieces of advice for 2019, relating to dietary habits. It discourages processed junk food:
• In your daily diet, aim to eat a mix of staple foods such as wheat, maize, rice and potatoes with legumes like lentils and beans, plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and foods from animal sources (e.g., meat, fish, eggs, and milk).
• Choose wholegrain foods like unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, and brown rice when you can; they are rich in valuable fiber and can help you feel full for longer.
• For snacks, choose raw vegetables, unsalted nuts, and fresh fruit, rather than foods that are high in sugars, fats, or salt.
This advice shows WHO suggesting three main things:
1- Mixing of staple foods in daily diets
2- Preferring wholegrain foods over the processed ones
3- Use of raw vegetables and fruits
This advice asks the world to minimize their use of processed junk food. But I would like to add one more lesson from WHO given at another place. The WHO also suggests that farmers should try to grow vegetables and fruits without adding pesticides. In other words, we should always try to prefer organic foods over natural and processed junk food.
By: Saqib Ali Ateel