A number of people across the globe are consuming ultra-processed foods, which are loaded with added sugar. A number of studies conducted by world-renowned food experts have concluded that ultra-processed food contributes greatly to obesity. Therefore, these foods are known as the ‘hub for calories.’

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Some common ultra-processed foods include cereals, soft drinks, cereals, packaged baked goods, confectionery and desserts as well as reconstituted meat products like fish, chicken, instant noodles as well as soups.

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Ultra-processed foods can be defined as “industrial formulations,” which are included in culinary preparations, apart from sugar, oils and fat. These formulations are used to replicate sensorial qualities possessed by minimally processed foods. The additions of sweeteners, food dyes, emulsifiers and flavorings are just some of the additions made by manufacturers to imitate natural foods.

What Are The Health Effects Associated With Ultra-Processed Foods & How To Avoid It?

Ultra-processed foods contain added sugar, which triggers weight gain, causes obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, digestion problems, skin problems and heart disease. Other than these medical health effects of ultra-processed foods, a person can also suffer from psychological effects from ultra-processed foods, such as loss of concentration, lethargy, dullness, insomnia etc.

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However, you can avoid the negative health effects of ultra-processed by choosing real foods. Opting for minimally processed foods or more importantly freshly-made meals is the healthier option. This would mean choosing water, fresh fruit juices and pasteurized milk. Avoid soft drinks, flavored fruit juices and milk drinks that have been sweetened.

What Are The Other Ultra-Processed Foods You Should Avoid?

If the meal you are about to have doesn’t require preparation, do not consume it. This includes packaged soups, frozen dishes, sandwiches, ready-to-eat sauces and cake mixes. Researchers have revealed that sugars constitute 1 in 5 calories found in your average ultra-processed food item. That works up to eight times more calories from sugar in these type of ultra-processed foods as opposed to others.

What is the Upper Limit of Sugar Calories?

The upper sugar calorie limit is capped at 10% of your daily calorie intake, studies suggest. Of the people who eat ultra-processed food, studies show that around 80% crossed the upper sugar calorie limit. The diet in Western countries mostly comprise of ultra-processed foods which contain an overload of sugar, fat and salt.

Why Are Ultra-Processed Foods Dangerous For Your Health?

If you like the taste of ultra-processed foods, you might not be a fan if you knew there were certain elements that make it dangerous for consumption. In fact, food companies chemically design these foods to ensure that you crave for them. In order to make ultra-processed foods appealing, they add unhealthy amounts of sugar, sodium and fat.

How Do You Break The Habit Of Eating Ultra-Processed Foods?

If you want to break the chemical food cravings, you need to make a change. As part of the purging process, you will have to cut down the intake added sugars, fat and sodium. Instead, make your food from scratch. When you decide to make your meals with fresh or minimally processed ingredients, you stand to lead a healthy life. Once you start cooking, you will realize that it isn’t so hard after all. If you decide to make homemade pizza, it would have very little added sugar, less salt, and very little fat overall. It will be difficult initially, however, once you get used to eating fresh, home cooked food and experience the benefits; you will never want to touch ultra-processed foods after that.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 20, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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