By Erika Edwards, May 16, 2019
NBC News – People who eat a lot of highly processed food take in more calories and gain more weight than those who stick to a minimally processed diet, a new study conducted at the National Institutes of Health finds.
Many real-world studies of diet and nutrition rely on participants to remember what they ate, which is notoriously difficult for most people. The results of the study are published Thursday in the journal Cell Metabolism.
This project was much more controlled. A group of 10 men and 10 women lived at the NIH’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, for 28 days, their meals provided by investigators with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
For the first two weeks, half of the subjects ate what was called an “ultra-processed diet.” That included foods many would regard as reasonable options: turkey bacon, chicken salad made with canned chicken, sweetened Greek yogurt, bagels with cream cheese and baked potato chips.
The other half stuck with a minimally processed diet, including meats and fish, whole fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts, and oatmeal. The second two weeks, participants switched diets.
“We found people over-ate on average more than 500 calories a day on the ultra-processed diet,” study author Kevin Hall said. “They gained weight and gained body fat.”
“Processed food is simply anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize”
But what exactly are “ultra-processed foods”? Some argue all food goes through some kind of process to ensure it gets from farms to our forks.
The study classified food as “ultra-processed” if it contained ingredients known to come from industrial food manufacturing, such as hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and other additives to stabilize products and increase their shelf life.
Hall suggests processed food is simply anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize … Read more.
6 ‘Ultra-Processed’ Foods to Throw Out Right Now
By Kathleen Mulpeter, February 13, 2019
Health.com – A study published in the journal BMJ Open revealed that a whopping 60% of calories in the average American’s daily diet come from “ultra-processed” foods.
The researchers also found that these ultra-processed foods account for 90% of the added sugar we consume, increasing our risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Yikes.
Here, Health’s contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, points out the six worst ultra-processed foods in your pantry right now. 11 Popular Foods Linked To Early Death
The most notorious offenders, says Sass, are brands that contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Your best bet is a basic kettle chip with just three simple ingredients: potatoes, olive or sunflower oil, and salt.
Other good options include organic blue corn chips and popcorn, which is low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with antioxidants.
Packaged snack cakes
Those plastic-wrapped cakes that seem to last for months years in your pantry are packed with sugar and preservatives.
“Bread is one of those foods where reading the ingredient list is really very important,” Sass explains. In general, she recommends looking for a whole grain or gluten-free, or even grain-free bread that doesn’t have any artificial additives or preservatives. When in doubt, check the frozen foods section, Sass says.
It makes sense: Some of the healthiest breads “need to be frozen because they don’t contain any preservatives,” she explains.
Yes, you’ve heard it before. But seriously, it’s time to ditch your diet soda stash once and for all.
Most of the movie theater brands you know and love contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors. But the good news, is there are better options out there. “Seventy percent dark chocolate is a great alternative to candy,” Sass says, noting that it’s a good source of magnesium and antioxidants, which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Read more.