We all know that processed foods aren’t good for you.
We know it just like we know that taking shots of liquor, smoking cigarettes, and sitting all day are bad for us.
And yet—many of us eat them anyway.
Even though we know that going through the drive-through, and grabbing a double cheeseburger with extra greasy fries and a large sugary soda is bad for you—we tend to do it anyway.
And generally, these habits are upheld with a solemn:
“Just this once. I’ll start that new diet tomorrow.”
Well, some somber news has just dropped on CNN Health News.
And according to 2 large-scale studies, ultra-processed food may be even more dangerous than people realize.
It could even be deadly!
Let’s talk about it.
What Is ‘Ultra-Processed’ Food?
According to the news article that was published by CNN, ultra-processed foods include things like hot dogs, sausages, french fries, prepackaged soups, sauces, frozen pizza, cakes, store-bought cookies, candy, ice cream, doughnuts, ready-to-eat meals, etc.
And if you’re thinking to yourself:
“Wow, that sounds like all of the foods I eat and enjoy.”
Well—you’re not alone.
These are food staples for many people in the western world.
And yet—two new large-scale studies have shed some new light on just exactly how dangerous these types of foods are.
Here’s what you need to know.
How Dangerous Are Ultra-Processed Foods?
According to these two studies, eating a lot of ultra-processed food significantly increases men’s risk for colorectal cancer. It can also lead to heart disease and early death in both men and women.
Here’s a quote from Marion Nestle, the Paulette Goddard professor emerita of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University.
“”Literally hundreds of studies link ultra-processed foods to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and overall mortality… These two studies continue the consistency: Ultraprocessed foods are unambiguously associated with an increased risk for chronic disease…”
Is All Processed Food Bad For You?
According to the studies, not all processed food is bad.
For example—a higher consumption of some ultra-processed dairy foods, like yogurt, was actually associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer in women.
It’s also true that some whole-grain foods (especially varieties that contain little or no added sugars) aren’t always so bad for you either.
Not surprisingly, an alarming number of Americans consume a large percentage of their daily diet as ultra-processed foods.
For example—58% of food that adults eat, and 67% of food consumed by children, tends to fall into the ‘ultra-processed’ category.
What Should You Do?
As it turns out, the best way to avoid the dangers of ultra-processed food is just to stop eating it.
For a lot of people, this may seem difficult—but positive lifestyle change is one of the best tools for becoming healthier in the long term.
Instead of eating processed foods, buy and consume whole foods—such as meat, vegetables, fruit, and other whole-food products.
Hey, it may not always be as fun—but your safety, health, and literal life are really at stake.
It’s important—for health and for wellness.