Robyn Lane

Weekdays 10am - 3pm

For someone who loves to eat and write about food and restaurants, this news is not a shocker.  Common sense tells us we need to avoid consuming an abundance of overly processed foods. Putting the time and energy into taking the necessary steps to remain healthy is another story.

 

chips

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – APRIL 05: Packages of Pringles potato chips are displayed on a shelf at a market on April 5, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Diamond Foods Inc. has agreed to purchase Pringles chip operations from Procter & Gamble Co. for $1.5 billion, a move that will triple the size of its snack foods business. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

 According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, there are serious consequences of eating ultra – processed foods and how it is linked to early deaths.

A boatload of evidence suggests that eating an abundance of highly processed foods like hot dogs, potato chips, carbonated and non-carbonated sugary beverages, and ice cream can cause more problems beyond obesity and high cholesterol.

A study published on November 7, 2022 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimated that in 2019, the deaths of around 57,000 Brazilian people between the ages of 30 and 69 were to blame for the consumption of ultra-processed food. That amounts to more than 10% of annual premature deaths in Brazil among that age group.

According to an article published by NBC News, Eduardo Nilson, a nutrition researcher at the University of São Paulo and the study’s lead author, said he believes “it is very likely that heart disease is among the main factors” contributing to these premature deaths. Diabetes, cancer, obesity and chronic kidney disease may play a role as well, he said.

 

Foods that are “ultra-processed” contain more artificial ingredients than those that just have added salt, sugar or oil. They usually have very few whole ingredients and contain flavorings, colorings or other additives. Instant noodles, frozen pizza and store-bought cookies typically fall within this category.

Pepsi Celebrates Pizza Goes #BetterWithPepsi & Teams Up With Culinary Institute Of America (CIA) Consulting To Reimagine America's Favorite Pizza Topping

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 19: Pepsi celebrates that pizza goes #BetterWithPepsi by teaming up with Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Consulting to reimagine America’s favorite pizza topping on May 19, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Pepsi)

We can live longer by either eliminating these foods altogether, or at least eat much less of them.

 Add fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. Eat more seeds, nuts and whole grains. Use olive oil when cooking instead of butter or margarine.  You don’t have to change your diet overnight. It’s all about taking baby steps to better health and a longer life.