Two new studies have found that ultra-processed foods (UPFs) may increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
One presentation at the European Society of Cardiology in Amsterdam suggests that eating breakfast cereals, carbonated drinks, fast food, etc. can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease by almost 25%.
Ultra-processed foods are generally defined as foods that typically contain five or more ingredients, with additives and ingredients not commonly used in home cooking.
What does the study say?
Researchers at the University of Sydney studied how increased UPF intake affected more than 10,000 middle-aged women over the past 15 years.
People with the highest percentage of UPF in their diet were found to be 39% more likely to develop high blood pressure than those with the lowest, The Guardian reported.
A second study by researchers at China’s Fourth Military Medical University found that those who consumed the highest amount of UPF were about 25% more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or angina.
A mere 10% increase in UPF intake significantly increased the risk of heart disease, the researchers added.
People with less than 15% UPF in their diet were least likely to suffer from heart-related medical problems.
The researchers noted that “there is a non-linear relationship between UPF intake and cardiovascular events,” but added that “large UPF intake was significantly and robustly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events.” .
What is UPF?
It is estimated that more than half of the UK diet consists of ultra-processed foods, i.e. foods that have undergone a series of industrial processes and may contain preservatives.
According to the British Heart Foundation, they contain high levels of saturated fat, salt and sugar.
The BHF says this means there is “less room for more nutritious foods in our diets.”
Ultra-processed foods include: Sodas, chocolates and sweets, hot dogs, sausages, hamburgers, meatballs, instant soups and noodles, instant meals, margarines and spreads, meal replacement shakes, and breakfast cereals.
Some Seemingly “Natural” UPFs
Most breads and buns found in supermarket bakeries, cereal bars, fruit yogurts, and ready-to-heat products. Like pre-cooked pies and pizzas, they may all look quite harmless on supermarket shelves, but they’re actually classified as ultra-processed.
This is because they may contain extra ingredients added during manufacturing, such as emulsifiers, sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors.
processed food: They tend to be products with a few additional ingredients, usually made by adding sugar, oil, salt, etc. to raw foods. These include canned fruits and vegetables, salted or candied nuts and seeds, salted, cured or smoked meats, canned fish, syrupd fruits, cheeses and homemade bread.
Raw or minimally processed foods: Fruits, vegetables, legumes, rice, seeds, pasta, eggs, fresh meat, fish and milk.
how to eat healthy
The best way to get nutrition is to cook fresh, unprocessed foods from scratch.
The Mediterranean diet is often said to be healthy. Nutritionist Victoria Taylor says the British heart is rich in “minimal or unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and seeds, beans, lentils and whole grains.” Said the foundation recommended it.
Read more on Sky News:
Study finds ultra-processed foods are linked to premature death
Do you know how much salt you should be consuming?
Bringing cake into the office is ‘as harmful as passive smoking’
What do the experts say?
Henry Dimbleby, a former government food adviser, said the results should serve as a “wake-up call” for Britain.
“If there’s anything harmful inherent in food processing, it’s a disaster,” he told The Guardian.
“The UK is particularly bad at ultra-processed food, hoarding future problems. If nothing is done, a tsunami of damage will hit the NHS.”
Dr. Chris Van Tuleken, a television physician who authored the book Ultra Processed People on UPF, said the study “indicates that increased UPF intake is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. “It’s completely consistent with a large body of research.” ”.
“Almost all foods with health claims on their packaging contain UPFs,” he added.
“These products irritate the gut, disrupt appetite regulation, alter hormone levels, and cause a myriad of other effects that are likely to increase the risk of cardiovascular and other diseases similar to smoking. We now have significant evidence that