Chemical processing is altering the chemical makeup of foods through additives and other artificial substances. Artificial substances such as sweeteners and preservatives have for several years been a public safety concern worldwide says Fausta Akech, a nutritionist at Healthy U.

The sugar
Foods that contain sugar essentially contain empty calories. This means that the calories contained therein provide no nutritional value. These empty calories are harmful to the heart and digestive system. “Diabetes also strongly correlates with sugar consumption. Corn syrup, particularly of the high fructose variety, has been found to increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity and liver failure,” she says.

Processed foods contain many additives and preservatives that contribute to potentially harmful effects, from common fatigue to heart disease.

Lack nutrients
Processing empties the food of its nutritional value. Although many of these foods are infused with artificial nutrients, the quality of nutrition derived from such is far superior compared to whole, unprocessed foods.

Akech says: “Fibre has many different roles to play in the development and maintenance of a healthy body. Primarily known to aid digestion, fibre also helps to produce healthy bacteria, slow the absorption of carbohydrates, but processed foods are usually low in fibre content.”

Poor metabolism
Since the chemical makeup of processed foods is usually devoid of fibre, nutrition, satiety and nourishment, the body’s digestive system and metabolism operate poorly. “The cumulate effects over time result in more food consumed and less energy expended,” she says.

Hydrogenated oils such as vegetable oil often contain an excessive amount of Omega-6 fatty acids, which has been linked to inflammation and oxidation issues. These substances carry and increased risk of heart disease. It is important to note that junk foods such as chips are usually very salty which increases your risk of taking too much salt and the complications associated with it she says.