Ultra-processed foods such as chocolates, cakes, and fries may have our hearts, but they are definitely not good for our health. These processed foods are loaded with sodium, sugar, and fats which are harmful for health in huge amounts. They also contain artificial ingredients so as to make them appealing to people and can be addictive plus easily-digestible which means they can expand one’s diet.
The refined carbs that these foods contain can up one’s blood sugar as well as insulin markers. Moreover, high salt content can elevate blood pressure levels. The troubles don’t end here – though these foods lighten up the reward centers of the brain, they are low when it comes to nutrition.
Processed foods do not have many minerals or vitamins to offer. They are also low in fiber. Now two new researches show that these mouth-watering treats can shorten life expectancy. These reports have been published in the British Medical Journal and have been carried out by researchers from Spain and France.
Study Carried Out By Spanish Researchers
The study conducted by Spain-based researchers from Navarra University included 19899 participants and followed them for more than two decades. Researchers divided processed foods into four categories from unprocessed foods to ultra-processed ones and found that those that fell in the last category were all associated to early death.
Eating 5 or more ultra-processed meals in a day increased mortality risk by 62% with each serving accounting for a 18% hazard. The average age of death was found to be 58 and the main cause was found to be cancer.
As per the report, “Processed meats, sugar sweetened beverages, dairy products, and French fries were the main foods contributing to the ultra-processed food consumed.” The list of ultra-processed foods includes pizza, meatballs, cookies, margarine, ice cream, processed meat, chicken nuggets, pastries, instant soups, etc.
The study revealed that even less processed foods were linked to mortality. The second most risky foods included those that had high amounts of salt or sugar and had been made using processes such as smoking or curing. During the study, 335 deaths happened with it being noted that those who consumed ultra-processed foods were most at risk of dying.
Study Carried Out By French Researchers
Another study which was published on the same day and was conduced by investigators from the University of Paris and the University of Montpellier noted the eating habits of 105,159 people who were above 18 years of age between the years 2009 and 2018.
This research concluded that there was a link between ultra-processed foods consumption and heart disease which the authors of this report believe is the main cause of death globally.
It is clear from these two studies that if you value your health and life, you must steer away from foods that are ultra-processed as these can lead to cardiovascular problems as well as cancer as per two separate studies published in the same journal.