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What are Ultra-Processed foods?

Updated: May 6

And how come they're making us fat?


First lets look at what 'processed foods' are:

Processed foods refer to any food that's changed from its natural state. This can include food that was simply cut, washed, heated. That doesn't mean they're bad for you.


BUT then there is ULTRA-PROCESSED foods sometimes known as UPTs. UPTs are made mostly from substances extracted from foods, such as fats, starches, added sugars, and hydrogenated fats... these are not to great for you.



It's estimated that over 56% of the total calories that the average UK person consumes is from processed foods and that this was higher in children and adolescents.




AND DID YOU KNOW???

Diets high in ultra-processed foods have been linked with increased risk of heart disease, weight gain, cancer, and even mortality.







Recent studies from the Clinical Nutrition Journal concludes that Ultra-Processed Foods tend to have a higher energy density and can trigger a higher eating rate resulting in weight gain. Whilst an energy balance is key to weight management, the quality of the food can impact your eating habits, cravings and nutrient consumption for overall health.


So, WHAT DO WE DO?


Reducing your intake of ultra-processed foods in any way is a great start. In an ideal world we would consume 0% ultra-processed, but ... I for one am not giving up Chocolate or Ice Cream. So they key .... is balance.


Work towards the 80/20 rule of 80% whole foods and allow room for 20% of ultra-processed foods to help make your diet sustainable long term.




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