In previous blog we highlight on the increase of snacking among Americans for the past years and we highly encourage everyone to watch what they eat. To follow up on the topic, we read that ultra-processed foods, which probably what the most people are snacking, are linked to serious health related risks. According to Marion Nestle, the Paulette Goddard professor emerita of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University and author of numerous books on food politics and marketing,
"Literally hundreds of studies link ultra-processed foods to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and overall mortality. These two studies continue the consistency: Ultra-processed foods are unambiguously associated with an increased risk for chronic disease,"
When we talk about ultra-processed foods, it refers to varied types of food ranging from sugar-filled desserts such as ice cream, cakes, doughnuts, sodas to store brought cookies and food full of preservatives such as french fires, hotdogs, and sausages. According to a 2021 US-based research, when they examined the diets of over 200,000 Americans for up to 28 years, it was found the relationship between ultra-processed food and colorectal cancer. It is the third most diagnosed cancer in the US for men. In this study, co-senior author Fang Fang Zhang, a cancer epidemiologist and chair of the division of nutrition epidemiology and data science at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, said:
"We found that men in the highest quintile of ultraprocessed food consumption, compared those in the lowest quintile, had a 29% higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. Reasons for such a sex difference are still unknown, but may involve the different roles that obesity, sex hormones, and metabolic hormones play in men versus women. Alternatively, women may have chosen 'healthier' ultraprocessed foods. Higher consumption of ultraprocessed dairy foods -- such as yogurt -- was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer in women. Some ultraprocessed foods are healthier, such as whole-grain foods that contain little or no added sugars, and yogurt and dairy foods. Americans consume a large percentage of their daily calories from ultraprocessed foods -- 58% in adults and 67% in children. "We should consider substituting the ultraprocessed foods with unprocessed or minimally processed foods in our diet for cancer prevention and prevention of obesity and cardiovascular diseases. "
Don't say the experts did not warn you.