I’m Done With Processed Foods

For a while now, I have been experimenting with my diet. If you like, I have kept a mental food diary over the years, and I like to think I know my body pretty well by now. Having a good radar for what triggers my skin is pretty helpful and it allows me to make the best choices possible when it comes to my dietary habits. I have also recently learned loads from attending some of the seminars at the Eczema Expo ’23.

What does all diet advice have in common?

It is absolutely incredible to think that I am still learning stuff about this disease which has plagued me all. My life. We are all constantly bombarded with different advice on health and diet. Every time I turn my phone on there will be a gazillion adverts on this diet or that diet, These fruits or those fruits, etc. And sometimes it can be a little confusing. However, the one thing I noticed that all these different podcasts, articles, and blogs had in common, was their advice about ultra-processed foods. Pretty much everything I read and watch says the same things about these foods. They're not great for us!

What did Tim Spector share about processed food?

Professor Tim Spector is one of the world's leading epidemiologists and works at King’s College London. He is also the Scientific co-founder at ZOE. He recently featured on BBC’s Panorama looking at the detrimental impact of processed foods in the UK. He told BBC Panorama: "In the last decade, the evidence has been slowly growing that ultra-processed food is harmful to us in ways we hadn't thought. We're talking about a whole variety of cancers, heart disease, strokes, dementia."1

What has my diet look like?

So, my diet is pretty good. I think 90% of the time I eat plenty of protein and plants and only drink water. Apart from my morning and mid-morning coffee! On the weekends I tend to have a bit of a blowout. Up until now, that would be a curry (ready meal) or a pizza from my local grocery store. I would also, buy tubs of ice cream and crisps. Since catching this BBC doc and listening to endless ZOE podcasts, I have become more militant where UPFs are concerned.

How would my skin react to my indulgences?

I think I have always known that these foods weren’t great for me but not to this extent. When I did indulge, my body would pay the price. I would flare and my skin would become angry and red. I am done with processed foods. They are not just bad for us eczema warriors, but they aren’t great for anyone. Every now and then, I am sure they would be fine but, it is something I want to completely rule out of my life. I still have a weakness for chips but I buy a brand that doesn’t use fatty oils and loads of ingredients that I cannot pronounce! It’s still not great but we have to have some treats in life and chips are mine!

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