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The Damaging Effects of Processed Food on the Human Body

Updated: Apr 19


Acute Acupuncture 163 The Terrace,  Wellington Central, Wellington.
The Damaging Effects of Processed Food

At Acute Acupuncture Wellington, we take health and wellness seriously, so I wrote some information for patients and people looking at our website and blog posts. Processed food has become the mainstay of the modern diet. This convenience and quick accessibility may compromise your health and wellness. This convenience may often come at the cost of our health and wellness. Over the years, numerous studies have highlighted the detrimental effects of processed food on the human body. This blog post aims to show how processed food can damage our bodies, highlighting the importance of adopting a mindful approach to our dietary choices.



Plastic Straws or Paper Straws: With the growing trend of paper straws to save the climate, no research was completed before the paper straw campaign was launched. We had two children, a boy (seven) and a girl (ten), who made national news in America and did a Ted Talk about how straws suck. These juveniles, not health professionals or backed by any scientific data, went from the angle of how many plastic straws are used or end up in landfills or the ocean. This insight was great for Mother Earth. However, they didn't investigate the health impacts of paper straws. Paper straws contain toxic chemicals called Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) and Polyfluoroalkl substances. PFAS is commonly known as “forever chemicals” and can linger in our environment for thousands of years. PFAS leaches into your drink when the straw gets soggy; in return, you consume this chemical. If not absorbed by the human body, it gets discharged via uren into the waste waters and eventually found in our environment. Below is a list of PFAS's effects on the human body; think twice before you consume that beverage in that paper straw!

PFAS Affects Fertility:

In women, a study found that higher levels of perfluoroalkyl substances found in the blood of would-be mothers were associated with up to 40 percent lower chances of achieving a successful pregnancy or conceiving. PFAS also increases high blood pressure in pregnant women.


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In men, lower sperm count and a poor quality of sperm.


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PFAS Causes Cancer:

PFAS is Harmful to Children:

PFAS Affects Your Immunity:

PFAS Affects Hormones:

PFAS Affects Cholesterol:

Nutritional Deficiency: Processed foods are typically high in calories, unhealthy fats, sugars, sodium, and Monosodium glutamate (MSG) while low in essential nutrients. These foods lack the vital vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber in whole foods, necessary for optimal bodily function and overall wellness. Consuming a diet predominantly composed of processed food can thus lead to malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies, compromising our energy, immune system, organ function, and cognitive abilities, increasing the chances of brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, and obesity.



Weight Gain and Obesity: The excessive consumption of processed foods has been strongly associated with weight gain and obesity. These foods often contain significant amounts of empty calories and unhealthy fats, contributing to a surplus of energy intake. Moreover, processed foods are frequently engineered to be addictive (MSG), leading to overconsumption. The high sugar content in many processed foods also triggers insulin spikes and resistance, further promoting fat storage by the liver and the risk of obesity.



Increased Risk of Chronic Diseases: Processed food consumption has been linked to a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. The high levels of trans fats, sodium, and refined carbohydrates in processed foods can lead to elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Additionally, processed foods lack the natural antioxidants and phytochemicals in these foods, depriving the body of its defense against oxidative stress and increasing inflammation in the gut, further contributing to the development of chronic diseases.



Digestive System Complications: Processed foods typically lack dietary fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. The absence of fiber can lead to constipation and an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal disorders such as diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome. Consuming processed foods may also disrupt the balance of beneficial gut bacteria, compromising immune function and overall gut health. There's also the gut-brain axis, and this can also harm one's mental health.




Negative Impact on Mental Health: Emerging research suggests a link between the consumption of highly processed foods and an increased risk of mental health issues. These foods, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, often lack nutrients for optimal brain function. Moreover, the excessive intake of processed foods has been associated with an increased likelihood of developing depression, anxiety, and mood disorders, further worsening mental well-being.




The damaging effects of processed food on the human body cannot be understated. By sucking on paper straws to providing empty calories, excessive amounts of unhealthy fats, sugar, and sodium, monosodium glutamate, and lacking essential nutrients. Processed foods not only contribute to weight gain and obesity but also increase the risk of chronic diseases, compromise digestive health, and negatively impact mental well-being. Adopting a diet consisting primarily of whole, unprocessed foods is crucial to support a healthy body and mind. It is our responsibility to prioritize the long-term well-being of our bodies by making mindful choices regarding the foods we consume. Sure, fast food can't always be avoided, but now you can make an informed choice around your caloric intake. Take advantage of a 15-minute consultation at Acute Acupuncture Wellington, and let's discuss how Acupuncture and a healthy diet can help you.


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