Discover the top processed foods that are harmful for your health!

Meats were shown to have a bigger impact on risk of death than many other kinds of ultraprocessed foods, according to the new study. (Adam Hoglund/iStockphoto/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

“Eating ultraprocessed foods may increase the risk of an early death, a 30-year study reveals. However, not all ultraprocessed foods are equally harmful. Processed meats and sugary treats may not pose the same risks as ultraprocessed whole grains. This study, led by Dr. Mingyang Song from Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, analyzed data from over 100,000 health professionals in the US.

“The group that consumed the least ultraprocessed foods averaged about three servings a day, whereas the group with the highest consumption averaged seven servings a day. The study, published in The BMJ journal, showed that those consuming more ultraprocessed foods had a 4% higher risk of death and a 9% higher risk of neurodegenerative deaths.

#### Different Impacts of Ultraproccessed Foods

Dr. Song described the correlation as moderate, highlighting that processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages drove the positive association in this study. However, not all ultraprocessed foods carry the same risks. Dr. Marion Nestle from New York University emphasized the importance of understanding different subgroups within the ultraprocessed food category.

#### Do we need to get rid of all ultraprocessed foods?

Dr. Song suggests avoiding certain ultraprocessed foods like processed meats and sugar-sweetened beverages, but not all of them. He acknowledges that some ultraprocessed foods like cereals and whole grain breads can provide beneficial nutrients. However, there are still unanswered questions regarding the impact of ultraprocessed foods on health.

Dr. Peter Wilde urges caution when interpreting the findings, emphasizing that the study is observational and cannot establish causation. Researchers need to investigate the components of ultraprocessed foods that may affect health, such as additives or flavors, in order to inform regulatory decisions.

#### Overall diet matters most

While ultraprocessed foods may pose risks, the quality of one’s overall diet is the most crucial factor in reducing the risk of death, according to Dr. Song. A varied, healthy diet with colorful fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is essential. Wilde advises consumers to choose foods with low levels of additives and to be mindful of their nutritional content.

In conclusion, while ultraprocessed foods may be associated with an increased risk of death, the key is to focus on the quality of one’s overall diet. Moderation, balance, and an awareness of food choices are essential to promote long-term health and well-being.”



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