Could convenience and lower-cost foods be affecting your health? If you’re guilty of purchasing ready-to-eat meals and snacks, you may already be a part of the obesity epidemic. The root of the cause is ultra-processed foods. As more people eat cheaper processed foods, they are getting heavier, reports researchers from George Washington School of Medicine and Health. Why are processed, specifically ultra-processed foods, so dangerous? Read on to discover more.
What are ultra-processed foods?
Ultra-processed foods are foods that go through many processes, contain multiple added ingredients, especially salt, sugar, and other additives (flavors, sweeteners, emulsifiers, preservatives, colors), and are ultimately highly manipulated from their original form.
Ultra-processed foods include:
- Soft drinks
- Breakfast cereals
- White bread
- Sugary yogurt
- Potato chips
- Fruit juices
- Frozen meals
Why are ultra-processed foods so dangerous?
Ultra-processed foods don’t provide nutritional benefits: they’re high in fat, sugar, and salt, and lack fiber, which translates to high levels of empty calories. In addition, ultra-processed foods can be highly addictive, which can cause you to eat more without stopping and throw portion control out the window. A popular study by Cell Metabolism found that ultra-processed foods led individuals to consume a whopping 500 extra calories a day, or an average of two pounds of weight in two weeks. An alarming statistic also reports that ultra-processed foods contribute to more than half the calories consumed in the U.S.! It’s no wonder researchers link processed foods with an increased risk of obesity.
Eat Out Less and Make Healthier Choices
With RM3® and RM® Lifestyle, we champion real, whole foods. No foods in our programs are pre-packaged or frozen, unlike other weight loss program out there. You can trust in us to provide you guidance in making healthier choices that lead to healthier lives.
Remember to eat out less, cook more at home, and always read the ingredient labels.
Ingredients are listed in order of prevalence. Look to see if sugar is a major ingredient when you’re buying groceries. Sugar can be a hidden ingredient if you’re not careful, use our helpful guide for 50 Different Names for Sugar to be on the lookout.
While ultra-processed foods are convenient and cheap, the real hidden cost of consumption is the cost of your health. It may be harder to choose to live healthier, but it’s ultimately the right path.