Ultra-processed foods linked to early death | Photo Credit: Thinkstock New Delhi: You already know that ultra-processed foods are not good for your health. But, these foods – high in sugar, salt, and other additives – are increasingly making into most people’s diet. Now, a major study has for the first time found a link between eating ultra-processed foods and an increased risk of early death. The new research from France found that higher intake of ultra-processed foods was associated with an increased risk of death over a 7-year period.
The study, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine by the American Medical Association, found a modest link between increased consumption of ultra-processed foods and a heightened mortality risk during the study period. To come to this conclusion, the researchers monitored the diets of tens of thousands of French people between 2009 and 2017. Read – Not losing weight? Blame your brain for your love of processed foods
The researchers note that although the study found only an association and does not prove that ultra-processed food consumption causes premature death, these foods could shorten your life span in a number of ways by increasing your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. What is ultra-processed food and how does it affect your health?
As per the study, ultra-processed foods are those that contain multiple ingredients and are manufactured through a multitude of industrial processes. These foods include sugar, salt, fat and oil, additives such as flavours, colours, sweeteners, and emulsifiers. Examples of ultra-processed foods are ready-made meals, ice cream, candies, energy bars, processed meats, packaged snacks and cookies, cakes, and pastries, etc.
Consuming ultra-processed foods has been linked to an increased risk of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, etc. These foods contain high levels of sodium, added sugar and low levels of fibre, which is essential for good health. Moreover, the chemicals added to these foods or produced during the manufacturing process may have harmful effects.
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