Industrially processed dishes and food are so wonderfully simple, and just “convenient”. No elaborate recipes, no major preparations, no slicing – just open the packaging, maybe heat it up and you’re done! However, we pay dearly for this level of convenience: with overweight, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, because industrially produced dishes are overloaded with salt and sugar and, above all, a lot of additives, colorants and flavors.
Clever food designers make us eat more
Thanks to ingenious recipes, the taste experience is exactly what we want it to be. But don’t forget: Food designers, chemists and technologists are involved in every dish. They ensure that the taste buds get the impression of a perfect meal.
Presented beautifully bite-sized and of such consistency that chewing is almost superfluous, we quickly reach for a second portion. The reason: When we chew our food thoroughly, we also need more time to eat our food. We don’t gobble it down like we can do with convenience foods. By the time the satiation signal reaches the brain, we have already eaten twice as much finished food than if we had eaten unprocessed food.
Additives provide extra kilos
But this is not the only reason why convenience food makes you want more. The highly processed foods contain plenty of sugar, fat and artificial additives such as emulsifiers or stabilizers. The sugar, which is also added to salty dishes such as pizzas, wraps, salad dressings etc., ensures a rapid rise in blood sugar levels and thus leads to food cravings.
Another disadvantage: Even small portions contain a lot of empty energy – calories. A bowl of ice cream for your favorite series, a pack of biscuits or a ready-to-serve pizza is quickly eaten on the side and often covers a quarter of our daily calorie requirements alone. And in no time at all: Weight alert!
Real food? No such luck!
Vitamins, minerals, living enzymes or trace elements? Not in convenience food. Some manufacturers try to compensate for nutrient poverty with additives. But what makes vegetables so healthy is the interaction of different substances – such as vitamins and fat, which in isolated form do not have the same effect.
So it’s better to reach for the saucepan yourself, because due to the sheer convenience of it, we have sometimes forgotten how quickly and easily you can prepare delicious, healthy dishes yourself.