Convenience Foods- A boon or a bane?


Robotic lifestyle has provoked humans to search for convenience in every aspect of life, including food. Consumption of convenience food is increasing as it proves to be the ideal wholesome food choice with reduced efforts of cooking. Though these foods are beneficial in terms of saving time, the nutritional quality of the food is compromised to a certain extent owing to different processing techniques employed, such as mechanical agitation, high heat treatment, pH change and addition of food additives. Essential nutrients such as dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals are lost during these processing, rendering the food as sources of only sugars, fat and to a certain extent, protein. The salt content in processed food is also high, since salt is an effective natural preservative used to increase the shelf life of the product. Consuming such foods rich in calories, fat and salt renders a person susceptible to non-communicable diseases such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

Processed convenience foods are also loaded with a variety of food additives to enhance physiochemical characteristics and sensorial properties. Certain food additives such as Mono Sodium Glutamate which is very commonly added in processed food items has been proven to have several adverse effects of the human system. Certain artificial colorants used in these products to make the food more appealing to the eyes of the consumer have been identified as carcinogenic. Without realizing the negative health impacts of such products consumers are largely utilizing these products, increasing the risk of various health disorders. Consumers should start making more informed choices by reading the ingredients and nutrition labels before buying such products.

DISCLAIMER : This article is not based on real time studies.