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How Processed Foods Affect Us

Normally, I don’t watch the show Downsize Me- I prefer the show ‘How to Live Longer’ which was previously shown on Discovery DH&H. But today, the show “Downsize Me” caught my eye.

The participate in the show was someone who is addicted to sugary treats and fat foods. She does lots of binge eating- eating non stop to the extend, she had to hide her eating because she was ashamed of her eating habits. She also kept a secret stash of food in the house that she will sneak off to eat when no one’s watching. She also ate every hour- a soda with croissant now, and candies bars in the next. Her daily sugar intake was a whopping 23 times the recommended daily intake (the recommended amount includes sugar from fruits as well). She weights 104.9kg with 58% body fat, way on her way to heart disease and diabetes.

So the hosts got this “Crash test dummy”, a similar person-same age and race but much fitter and slimmer built. They cleared all the sodas, chocolates, candies, ice creams, pies, croissants, cream stuff from the participant’s house and ask this healthy crash test dummy to eat it.

The “Crash test dummy”, being used to healthy lifestyle, sensible eating and exercise, must suddenly start eating all the junk food that the participant was accustomed to. Soon, she complained of the following signs:

  • felt awful and bloated
  • body started to ache
  • really begin to miss having ‘real food’ like fruits and veges
  • felt very dehydrated because there is not enough of water
  • headaches
  • allergy reactions at the elbow- you can actually see red itchy patches on the elbow area
  • asthma attack- she’d never gotten an asthma attack since she was a child- but the second day of eating nothing but processed food, she had to use an inhaler.

Using the “Crash Test Dummy” idea is enlightening. It shows how damaging the bad effects of processed food- both high in sugar and fat are to our bodies. If we make that type of food as our staple diet, the toxins would have clogged their way into our systems that we are oblivious of that- and the effects will be many times fold if we do not exercise, drink enough water and are constantly constipated (means our body is not getting rid of all that toxins). It will be only a matter of time that the ill effects catches up on us.

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The good news is at the end of 8 weeks, the participant loss about 7kg (it’s healthy to lose weight gradually through good eating habits and exercise), and had decided to join a netball club to have something to work for. Her body fat also dropped to 42% (previously from 58%). Even with 7kg down, the “before” and “after” photos were unbelievable- huge difference in how she looked especially at the stomach area.

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