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Ultra Processed foods link to disease

  • Ultraprocessed foods have infiltrated the globe, bringing with them rapid increases in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and 13 of 15 major cancers
  • Ultraprocessed foods contain a number of harmful ingredients and contaminants, including seeds oils rich in linoleic acid (LA), additives, artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, colorants, bisphenols and phthalates
  • Frozen foods have been linked with various diseases due to additives.

As our lives changed from more rural/farming communities to large urban/suburban living, so too did the amount of food processing.  While this was initially more related to preservation, the mid-20th Century saw a steep rise in what is now termed ultra-processed foods.

The processing does not only remove many of the essential nutrients, it also adds a lot of synthetic and dangerous additives from artificial colours and flavours to toxic chemicals.

“The adverse health outcomes associated with ultraprocessed foods may not be fully explained by their nutrient composition and energy density alone but also by physical and chemical properties associated with industrial processing methods, ingredients, and by-products,” the researchers explained.17 They cited several ways that ultraprocessed foods are harmful to human health:18

Intensive processing leads to alterations in the food matrix, called dietary reconstitutions, which may affect digestion, nutrient absorption and feelings of satiety
Additives such as artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, colorants and nitrates/nitrites can have detrimental health outcomes
Additives may have adverse effects on the gut microbiome and related inflammation
Exposure to the multiple additives in these foods “may have potential ‘cocktail effects’ with greater implications for human health than exposure to a single additive”
Intensive industrial processing may produce potentially harmful substances — including acrolein, acrylamide, advanced glycation end products, furans, heterocyclic amines, industrial trans-fatty acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon — linked to chronic inflammatory diseases
Harmful contaminants, such as bisphenols, microplastics and phthalates often exist in packaging materials and can migrate into the food

These changes in foods we are consuming are contributing to increased incidence of diseases in adulthood but also affect the health of our children.  Our body can only utilise what we put into them, and this is never more important that when considering having a baby [pre conception preparation] as well as throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Read the full article which refers to U.S.-based food manufacturing companies but applies just as much to Australian manufacturers.