23rd September 2020
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Ultra Processed Food

According to recent study published in the British Medical Journal, eating processed food increases the risk for early death. The research shows that this risk could go as high 60%. Consuming processed foods which contain an added level of fat and sugar pose a risk of heart disease and stroke.

The scientists in the research warn that eating four portions of ultra-processed food every day had a 62 per cent increased mortality risk, compared with those consuming less than two servings. They conclude that people should cut down on processed foods and instead, take in more natural foods. Dr Mathilde Touvier, a research Director and nutritional epidemiologist told BBC News: “The rapid and worldwide increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods, to the detriment of less processed foods, may drive a substantial burden of cardiovascular diseases in the next decades.”

According to the NHS, processed foods aren’t just microwave meals and other ready meals. A processed food is any food that has been altered in some way during preparation. Examples include:

  • breakfast cereals 
  • cheese 
  • tinned vegetables 
  • bread 
  • savoury snacks, such as crisps, sausage rolls, pies and pasties  
  • meat products, such as bacon, sausage, ham, salami and paté  
  • “convenience foods”, such as microwave meals or ready meals 
  • cakes and biscuits  
  • drinks, such as milk or soft drinks 

According to the NHS, it says “ingredients such as salt, sugar and fat are sometimes added to processed foods to make their flavour more appealing and to extend their shelf life, or in some cases to contribute to the food’s structure, such as salt in bread or sugar in cakes.”

Natural African foods which have been prepared using simple methods are not part of processed foods and are thus healthy.

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