While processed food items might be handy during those sudden hunger pangs, they sure to come with a hefty price- your health. According to a group of fo researchers, heating fast and too much ultra-processed foods has a link to lower heart health.
“Eating ultra-processed foods often displaces healthier foods that are rich in nutrients, like fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, which are strongly linked to good heart health,” said study research Zefeng Zhang from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US.
“In addition, ultra-processed foods are often high in salt, added sugars, saturated fat and other substances associated with increasing the risk of heart disease,” Zhang added.
Processed foods items are usually made entirely or mostly of fats, starches, hydrogenated fats, added sugar, modified starch and other compounds and include cosmetic additives such as artificial flavours, colours or emulsifiers. Soft drinks, packaged salty snacks, instant soup powders, cookies, cakes and processed meats are some of the most consumed processed foods. They are often marketed as, ‘convenience foods.’
According to the data collected between 2011 and 2016 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers found that for every five per cent increase in calories from ultra-processed foods a person ate, there was a corresponding decrease in overall cardiovascular health.
Adults who ate approximately 70 per cent of their calories from ultra-processed foods were half as likely to have ‘ideal’ cardiovascular health, compared with people who ate 40 per cent or less of their calories from ultra-processed foods.
“This study underscores the importance of building a healthier diet by eliminating foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, cookies, cakes and other processed foods,” said Donna Arnett from the University of Kentucky in the US.
The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019 from November 16-18 in Philadelphia, US.