This Eating Habit Is Shortening Your Life, Says Science
By Lekhak January 09, 2022
That bag of chips might not be such a good idea.
You probably know that eating ultra-processed foods like flavored potato chips and sugary breakfast cereals isn't as healthy as eating natural, whole foods. After all, it's no surprise that a home-cooked meal is usually more nutritious than your favorite fast-food dish. According to new research, eating ultra-processed foods raises the chance of death in adults.
The meta-analysis, published in the journal Nutrients last week, looked at data from over 200,000 persons and compared diet information to mortality measures. According to the findings, the greater an individual's risk of death from any cause, cardiovascular disease, and other heart-related concerns, the higher their percentage of total caloric consumption from ultra-processed meals.
Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, author of Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Prep and How to Eat to Beat Disease Cookbook, said, "It's really exciting to see studies coming out that link diet to health like this one; we definitely need more people looking at that relationship." "It's worth noting that the authors conclude by stating that further experimental studies are needed to better clarify definite conclusions about how much and how ultra-processed meals affect the health of varied individuals over time."
There are still many scientists who don't understand, but one thing is sure: It doesn't mean that ordering a fried chicken sandwich from your favorite fast-food establishment for lunch will make you die sooner. People who consume more ultra-processed foods regularly are more likely to die younger.
"The thing I'm most concerned about is how people can interpret a study like this," Hultin said. "They might see the title or headline and think that eating ultra-processed meals would lead to death—and that's not what the study is saying." "Our health is not determined by a particular sort of food. It's the overall nutritional pattern that requires the greatest attention."