Remember the days when frozen meals and packaged foods seemed like the greatest thing since sliced bread?
From a fried chicken dinner in minutes... to hot oatmeal in an instant... to waffles with a flick of the toaster... the convenience that these foods offered was nothing short of a miracle when they first debuted.
And even though we now know that the processed carbs and sugars in these foods won't do your waistline any favors, it's STILL awfully tempting to crack open a package when your belly is rumbling and you're short on time.
Heck, boxed meals are often a whole lot tastier than anything you could whip up yourself!
But it may be time to "l'eggo" that Eggo and other packaged foods once and for all -- because according to a new study, the more processed foods you eat, the greater your risk of cancer.
In the study out of France and Brazil, over 100,000 people periodically filled out questionnaires about everything they ate and drank.
Every item they put into their mouths was categorized into one of four groups, ranging from unprocessed foods (like fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish) to "ultra-processed" foods (including packaged breads, processed meats, snacks, sweets, and sodas).
After about five years of follow-up, the researchers compared these dietary diaries to the participants' medical records.
It turned out that a 10-percent increase in ultra-processed foods in the participants' diets led to a 12-percent increase in their overall risk of cancer... and an 11-percent increase in breast cancer specifically.
I wouldn't exactly call CANCER "convenient"!
Now, the study didn't prove that these "Frankenfoods" CAUSED cancer. It could be that those who eat more packaged foods also have more unhealthy lifestyle habits than those who favor fresher foods.
But it's undeniable that processed foods' added sugar -- not to mention their lack of protective fiber and vitamins -- may feed the growth of cancer cells.
And as I've shared with you recently, studies have shown that processed meals ramp up inflammation in your body, which sets the stage for many diseases, including cancer.
Not only that, but foods from bags and boxes often contain additives and preservatives known to be carcinogenic -- and toxic chemicals can even leach into the food from packaging.
When you open up a boxed meal, you're really opening a Pandora's box of risks!
Switching to the Paleo (a.k.a. "caveman") diet makes it easy to sidestep processed junk -- because it includes only FRESH meats, fish, dairy, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
And try cutting out the grocery store "middleman" by shopping at your local farmers' market, where you can buy whole ingredients with no packaging whatsoever.
No time to cook? Invest in a slow cooker (a.k.a. "Crock-Pot"). You can simply throw meat, veggies, and seasonings into the cooker and let it do all the work while you go about your day.
A true miracle!