Ultra-processed food has always had a bad reputation in the world of nutrition. Endless studies talk about the harmful effects of eating highly processed food. If you’re not already familiar, frizzy drinks, packaged goods like bread, ready-to-eat cereals, etc., all classify as ultra-processed food. These foods are generally high in salt, fat, and sugar and contain artificial additives that can lead to several health problems like heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. A new study has also found that eating highly processed foods may put you at a greater risk of developing cancer.
The study published in the eClinicalMedicine found that consuming too many ultra-processed foods can increase your risk of developing obesity and type-2 diabetes in adults. Since ultra-processed foods are inexpensive with attractive packaging, people tend to consume more of these foods. Bread, biscuits, breakfast cereals, carbonated drinks, instant soups, fruit-flavoured yogurts, ham, sausages, and some alcoholic drinks are examples of ultra-processed food.
The harmful effects of ultra-processed foods are well-known, with the World Health Organisation and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation restricting the consumption of ultra-processed foods, the study reports.
Ultra-processed foods are often inexpensive and taste good, which is why they are so popular among young people. However, they contain harmful ingredients such as added sugar, salt, and saturated fats. They are also low in dietary fiber and vitamins, essential to promote overall health.
Several studies have shown that regular consumption of foods high in sugar can lead to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type-2 diabetes. Refined carbs in ultra-processed foods can lead to a spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels.
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that eating 10 percent more ultra-processed foods increases your risk of developing coronary artery disease, cardiovascular disease, and cerebrovascular disorders (diseases that affect blood flow in the brain). Another study published in the same journal found that consuming too many highly-processed foods can up your risk of gaining weight and even lead to mortality.
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Whether canned, frozen, or packaged, processed food is loaded with sugar, salt, and additives, which can be harmful to your overall health. The best way to reduce the risk of developing unwanted diseases is to replace unprocessed foods with healthy alternatives. While it may seem difficult at first, regular consumption of healthy alternatives can help you stay on track with healthy eating habits.
Now you know how harmful processed foods can be! So, it is time to quit unhealthy eating habits and switch to healthy alternatives for the sake of your health.