Here’s How America Became Hooked On Processed Foods

Who doesn’t love to eat? Food is just a really good thing.

But what we consider “food” has drastically changed over the years, helped along by a commercial food industry that creates processed, highly palatable snacks and treats that are actually designed to keep you eating.

This new age of convenience food is the subject of episode 7 of Next Level Living, a 10-part HuffPost Originals video series on the science behind our everyday habits. In this episode, we learn that some foods actually trick your brain into thinking you’ve consumed fewer calories.

“Essentially, the processing of food isn’t just to make it safe or shelf stable. Processing of food is to maximize profit by maximizing the eating we do before we feel full,” Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, says in the video.

In addition to packaged foods, restaurant meals have a lot of calories, and consumers aren’t exactly helping themselves: In 2015, for the first time in history, Americans spent more money on dining out than they did on groceries. Research shows that meals we eat out are never as healthful as the ones we make at home — whether we eat at a fast food joint or an upscale restaurant.

Fortunately, food doesn’t have to control us, and we don’t have to live under the reign of the cheese puff. Watch above, then start by spending some time in your kitchen. Check out one of the healthy slow cooker recipes below for inspiration.

View previous episodes of Next Level Living.

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