What are ultra-processed foods and why you should avoid them

What are ultra-processed foods (UPFs)?

Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are cheap packaged foods manufactured in factories using industrial methods and compounds derived from natural food mixed with other industrially formulated synthesised organic substances.

Ultra-processed foods contain a lot of saturated fats, salt, sugar and industrial additives, such as sweeteners, artificial flavourings, colourants, emulsifiers, binders, stabilisers, thickeners, gelling agents. and preservatives, which are cheaper than natural ingredients.


How are ultra-processed foods made?

Ultra-processed foods are designed to be very tasty (salty or sweet), easy to use (ready to eat) and addictive (so you want to eat more of them) and to have an increased shelf life.

UPFs usually have a very long list of ingredients with chemical names you may be unable to recognise, such as E-numbers. When you see many ingredients on the label, it's most likely to be an ultra-processed product. 


How do ultra-processed foods affect health? 

In recent years, these unhealthy ultra-processed foods have become a big part of our diets, and they are damaging our health in many ways. Consumption of ultra-processed foods on daily basis leads to many diseases such as type-2 diabetes, high pressure, obesity, heart diseases and cancer. 




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