What Are Ultra-Processed Foods? These Snacks May Be Linked To Cancer


What Are Ultra-Processed Foods? These Snacks May Be Linked To Cancer

Everyone knows that too many highly processed foods are bad for you. But, recent studies have found that "ultra-processed" foods are linked to cancer. But, what are ultra-processed foods? What is ultra-processed food? What is the definition of an ultra-processed food? We've got everything you need to know about ultra-processed foods, including a list of what is considered ultra-processed food.

The study, consisting of 105,000 people, revealed that the more ultra-processed foods a person ate, the greater the risk of cancer. While this obviously makes us more cautious about what we eat, experts say that eating a healthy diet is best.

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What Is Ultra-Processed Food? A Definition.

So, what is considered an ultra-processed food? If you didn't already know, the definition of an ultra-processed food isn't strict, but will typically include five or more ingredients. According to a study in 2016, ultra-processed foods are "industrial formulations which, besides salt, sugar, oils, and fats, include substances not used in culinary preparations, in particular additives used to imitate sensorial qualities of minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations."

So, think of baking bread at home versus buying a package in the store. You know exactly what goes into your homemade bread. But, the packaged bread you buy in the store could have additives, artificial flavors, or emulsifiers. So, basically, those words on the ingredients list that you can't pronounce. Ultra-processed foods will typically also contain more calories, sodium, and sugar.

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Ultra-Processed Foods List

Wondering what is considered an ultra-processed food? Well, luckily, we've got a list of what counts as ultra-processed foods, according to BBC.

  • Mass-produced packaged bread
  • Packaged snacks (sweet and savory)
  • Candy, including chocolate bars and other sweets
  • Sweetened drinks, including soda
  • Meatballs, poultry, and fish nuggets
  • Instant noodles and soup
  • Frozen meals
  • Read-made and shelf-life foods
  • Foods that are mostly (or entirely) made of sugar, oils, and fats
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Do Ultra-Processed Foods Cause Cancer?

We already know that being overweight and processed meat increases the risk of cancer, but does ultra-processed food cause cancer?

According to a study posted in the British Medican Journal that went on for an average of five years, if the amount of ultra-processed food in a person's diet increased by 10%, then the number of cancers detected increased by 12%.

In conclusion, the researches stated that the results indicated that the "rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods may drive an increasing burden of cancer in the next decades."

Despite these findings, the researchers make it clear that this needs to be confirmed by larger-scale studies and research to better establish the link between ultra-processed foods and cancer.