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Junk food is killing people

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 4 months ago

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found that consuming ultra-processed foods, also known as junk food, is associated with a 50% increase in cardiovascular death, a 12% increase in Type 2 diabetes, and elevated risks of anxiety, depression, poor sleep, wheezing, and obesity. The study also suggests a 21% higher rate of all-cause mortality among those who consume more ultra-processed foods.

Ultra-processed foods typically contain five or more ingredients or additives such as emulsifiers, sweeteners, preservatives, or artificial colors. These ingredients provide shelf-stability, enhance taste, and improve appearance. Examples of ultra-processed foods include hamburgers with fries and ketchup, which are high in additives and preservatives. In contrast, a tuna sandwich made with whole-grain bread, fresh tuna, and homemade condiments would not be considered ultra-processed.

The dangers of ultra-processed foods stem from their low nutrient content, negative impact on gut health, and the presence of harmful substances produced during manufacturing. These foods can lead to chronic inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, and disruptions in the gut microbiome. Additionally, substances like acrylamide and advanced glycation end products found in ultra-processed foods have been linked to increased cancer risk.

While the relationship between ultra-processed food consumption and poor health outcomes is complex and may involve various confounding factors, it is clear that reducing the intake of these foods can have significant health benefits. Making small changes, such as substituting sugary beverages with water or unsweetened tea, reading food labels, and selecting minimally processed foods, can help improve overall health.

In conclusion, the findings of the BMJ study underscore the importance of making informed food choices to promote better health outcomes. By gradually shifting towards a more balanced and nutritious diet, individuals can improve their well-being and potentially extend their lifespan.

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