Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Study: This ultra-processed food is the worst

Published yesterday 15:09
- By Editorial Staff
Ultra-processed meats and sweetened drinks stood out negatively in the study.

High consumption of ultra-processed foods is linked to an increased risk of premature death, according to a major study from several universities. The highest risk is associated with the consumption of processed meat products, sweetened drinks and breakfast cereals.

In the study, published in The BMJ journal, researchers analyzed data from over 100,000 health professionals in the United States between 1984 and 2018. In total, 74,563 women and 39,501 men who had no prior medical history of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or other conditions involving respiratory and neurological diseases participated. Participants provided information about their health and lifestyle every two years and completed a detailed questionnaire every four years about what they ate.

On average, participants ate three portions of some form of ultra-processed food each day, while the group that ate the most could eat seven portions per day. The research was conducted in collaboration with universities in the United States, Brazil, the Netherlands and China, including Harvard University and Nanjing Medical University.

The participants who ate the most ultra-processed food had a 4 percent higher risk of death from any cause, including a 9 percent increased risk of death from neurodegenerative diseases. The results are consistent with other previous studies that have shown that high consumption of ultra-processed food can increase the risk of both disease and early death. For example, an umbrella study from earlier this year by researchers in the US, Australia and Ireland, showed that high consumption increased the risk of anxiety, diabetes and also a 50 percent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, among other things.

Better and worse alternatives

Dr. Mingyang Song of Harvard University describes the association as “moderate” and says the link differed between ultra-processed foods. Mainly, ultra-processed meat, chicken and fish were correlated with early death, followed by sugar-enriched or artificially sweetened beverages, milk-based desserts and breakfast foods such as cereals.

Song described the association as “moderate”, noting that the link was not as strong for all types of ultra-processed foods.

– The positive association is mainly driven by a few subgroups, including processed meats and sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages, he told CNN.

The researchers point out that the study’s results show that avoiding ultra-processed foods can be beneficial, but that there are better and worse alternatives if you still insist on eating them.

Cereals and whole grain breads are also considered ultra-processed foods, but they contain various beneficial nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals, says Song. On the other hand, I think people should try to avoid or limit the consumption of certain ultra-processed foods, such as processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, and even potentially artificially sweetened beverages.

However, the most important thing to maintain good health and avoid premature death is to consistently eat as naturally as possible, including plenty of fiber, fruits and vegetables.

If people maintain a generally healthy diet, I don’t think they need to be afraid or intimidated, says the researcher.

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