I won’t beat a dead horse. I am sure if you read this blog very often, you are aware that I barely consider packaged, processed foods to be foods at all. They are food-like products at best. If you ever take the time to read the labels you’ll see ingredients you likely can’t pronounce much less identify. And all those artificial additives, flavors, sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, genetically modified ingredients do nothing to nourish our bodies. Food is intended to be fuel to provide nourishment and energy. Eating processed foods is like putting sugar water in your gas tank.
But what could be worse than processed foods? Hard to believe but there are actually ultra-processed foods. “Ultra-processed” foods are defined as those made in factories with ingredients unknown to the domestic kitchen. According to NOVA they “typically” have five or more ingredients; may be aggressively marketed and highly profitable. If a food includes additives whose purpose is to imitate sensory qualities of unprocessed foods or of culinary preparations of these foods, or to disguise undesirable sensory qualities of the final product.
Sounds delicious doesn’t it?
According to research, Americans spend 90% of their money on processed food, 60% of which comes from ultra-processed foods, which are mass produced, packaged goods, including sodas, packaged sweet and savory snacks, chips, snack cakes, instant noodles, chicken nuggets, white bread, frozen pizza and frozen meals. Twinkies anyone? 90% of the added sugar consumption in the U.S. comes from processed and ultra-processed foods. We can clearly see where that has gotten us – overweight, obese and diabetic.
Not surprisingly, to me anyway, researchers discovered that people who eat more ultra-processed foods have a higher risk of cancer. I understand that nutrition has become confusing with all the choices we are bombarded with. I maintain the best and easiest way to avoid these health problems associated with packaged, processed and ultra-processed foods is to get back to basics.
Eat fresh, properly raised/grown one-ingredient foods in a form as close to how God created them. If you do that 90% of the time the other 10% will not be an issue.
If you look in your kitchen now, do you have more ultra-processed foods than unprocessed (fresh) or minimally processed?
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