What are ultra-processed foods. And why do news about their dangers appear more and more often?

Here, for example: “Ultrafoods increase the risk of colon cancer by 29%, and tumors in its distal (final) section by as much as 72%.” Are these numbers really scary?

Or food for thought for expectant mothers: “The use of ultrafoods during pregnancy contributes to the development of obesity in children, but not at birth, but 10 years later.”

And how many studies that they help the development of type 2 diabetes, and also contribute to the occurrence of atherosclerosis and all its manifestations – from heart attacks to strokes! Italian scientists have found that lovers of such food have an increased risk of death. The reason is the chronic inflammation they cause in the body. The authors of the work called this phenomenon “fast food fever”.

But de facto it’s not just fast food. There are many such products (sometimes they are also called highly processed, highly refined). How to distinguish them from ordinary, harmless ones?

First of all, this is not homemade food, but industrial. It is enough to open the package or heat it up – and it is ready for consumption.

“The primary products from which such food is made have been changed beyond recognition,” says Candidate of Technical Sciences, food technology specialist Dmitry Zykov. “They are usually crushed into mince or paste, and as a result they lose texture and structure, and cheaper ingredients can be added to them. For example, cheaper ones can be added to the mass of grated expensive nuts. Cheap vegetable fats are often added to curds, curds, dairy desserts. Inexpensive varieties and types of meat, meat of fur or poultry, animal protein are added to sausages. Minced meat products – scope for the same abuses. New GOSTs do not prohibit this, and industrial meat grinders are so powerful that they can scroll ligaments and even some bones. And you won’t notice any of this, nutritional supplements will mask everything, and the cutlet may even look appetizing.”

As part of ultrafoods, you will find emulsifiers, thickeners, flavors, flavor enhancers. By creating an illusion – the appearance and flavors of normal food – they greatly impoverish its nutritional value. If these are animal products, then they have much less high-quality protein, fats and vitamins, and if they are vegetable, then during production they lose a significant part of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. In addition, ultrafoods contain a lot of either sugar or salt.


Ultra-processed foods are…

  • Sausages, loin, ham, etc., if they contain a lot of food additives.
  • Semi-finished products from meat, poultry, fish or vegetable raw materials (cutlets, dumplings, nuggets, etc.).
  • Instant soups, bouillon cubes.
  • Instant second courses based on noodles, potatoes and cereals, cabbage rolls, pancakes, pies, dumplings.
  • Snacks and snacks (chips, crackers, sticks, cereals, especially with different flavors).
  • Flour products, cookies, waffles and other confectionery products.
  • Most types of ice cream.
  • Bread from high grades of flour with food additives.
  • Dry breakfast with a lot of sugar.
  • Sweets, chocolate with low cocoa content (up to 70%).
  • Sweet carbonated drinks.