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Ultra-processed food consumption tied to higher risk of mortality

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 12 days ago

A recent study conducted by researchers at the Sorbonne in Paris has suggested a potential link between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and an increased risk of cancer. The study, which analyzed data from over 540,000 older adults, found that those who consumed higher amounts of ultra-processed foods were around 10% more likely to die earlier than those who followed a more balanced diet.

Lead author Erikka Loftfield and her colleagues at the National Cancer Institute observed the dietary habits of older adults aged between 50 and 71 for nearly 30 years. They found that highly processed meats and soft drinks were among the subgroups of ultra-processed foods most strongly associated with an increased risk of mortality.

Ultra-processed foods are defined as industrial formulations that are manufactured from food-derived substances and contain additives and preservatives to increase shelf life. These products include items such as packaged snacks, mass-produced bread, breakfast cereals, and reconstituted meat products.

Research has shown that a diet high in ultra-processed foods can lead to lower intake of essential nutrients like fiber, protein, and potassium. Additionally, consuming these products has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, breast cancer, and other health conditions.

In a 2024 study published in Neurology, researchers found that increasing the intake of ultra-processed foods by just 10% was associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairments and stroke. This is thought to be due to the additives in these foods potentially affecting gut health and leading to inflammation.

Overall, the evidence suggests that reducing the consumption of ultra-processed foods and opting for a diet rich in minimally processed foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may have significant health benefits, including maintaining brain health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. It is important for individuals to be mindful of their food choices and prioritize whole, nutritious options over highly processed alternatives.

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