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Undoing the Dangers of Ultra-processed Foods

Ok, so we know fast food isn't great, and we know we should cut down on the chips... But, is it really that bad? According to a new scientific study - yes, it really is that bad and comes with a lot of side effects that can have long term negative health consequences. This paper is interesting as it draws our attention not just to the type of food (i.e., candy versus fruit), but how something like vegetable soup can differ in its make up via added preservatives and chemical contact from packaging.

Per the literature review, "More than 70 long-term prospective epidemiological studies cited in the paper have consistently linked consuming ultra-processed foods with weight gain and increased risk of various diseases, particularly cardiometabolic conditions."

It is not just the choice of food, say a burger instead of a salad, but whether food has been packed in plastics that contain phthalates and parabens, and whether a food has a high level of preservatives - as noted by the vegetable soup example. Whilst cancers, heart health, and weight gain are the oft mentioned issues, another increasing concern is gut health and gut microbiota. Colorectal and other gut cancers are on the rise in those under 35, and this is often linked to processed food consumption, something the authors note.

Steering clear of processed foods, as well as foods with long shelf lives and chemical loaded packaging, and instead opting for whole vegetables, fruits, and legumes is always a wise choice!

Link: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-10-adverse-effects-ultra-processed-foods.html