This is how you recognize ultra-processed (and therefore unhealthy) foods.

Ultra-processed foods, or products that have had a lot of unhealthy junk food added to them, aren't exactly good for our health. But how do you recognize these “killers”? How do you avoid them as much as possible?

All kinds of additives and substances are added to ultra-processed products, for example, to make the food tastier or have a longer shelf life. Consequently, the nutritional value and natural state of such a product deteriorates.

Ultra-processed foods are not healthy for our bodies

These products have now been linked to various lifestyle diseases. Such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Because we want to work easily, quickly, or cheaply, we resort to these types of messages. While our body simply needs unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, seeds, nuts, fish or meat. also Valuable inspection service-Tion De Kyokin's face All Netherlands Packet-Jury member Janie van der Heyden has already warned of the dangers of over-processing foods.

Nutritionist Caroline Passerello explains vs Fortune Okay They encourage people to read labels. Our body needs nutrients, vitamins or minerals. If you eat processed and (too) unhealthy foods too often, you could develop deficiencies and experience unnecessary weight gain. “The way our bodies respond to calories and nutrients varies depending on our age, activity level, and overall dietary patterns,” says the nutritionist.

Unhealthy materials added

Ultra-processed foods often contain high amounts of added sugars, fats and/or salt, low amounts of dietary fiber and more artificial ingredients. Regardless of whether it comes from food or is manufactured in laboratories.

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Some examples are: mass-produced bread, soft drinks such as soft drinks, breakfast cereals or ice cream. These are products that often have artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives (also known as E-numbers) added. By the way, not all E numbers are bad. Nowadays there are apps that simply tell you whether the E is green, orange or red.

Ready meals

Do you often consume ultra-processed foods? Then there is a high probability that you will eat and drink more and run the risk of gaining weight. In addition, research shows that unprocessed foods slow the aging process and reduce the risk of dementia.

Children and the elderly in particular benefit from eating less ultra-processed foods. Their changing bodies have different energy needs and require good nutrition. Although in reality we won't die from eating ice cream or anything unhealthy from time to time. Balance is the so-called “key” in this.

Delivery meals? Takeaway? Fast food? Parcel? Sauces? Be careful with that. You simply don't know what goes into them, and there's a good chance these meals are more processed than you think.

Some additional tips:

  • Add fresh or dried fruits when eating cereal
  • Learn how to read labels and choose products that you know what is written on their label. For example: a pasta sauce that contains 80% tomatoes, 10% pepper, olive oil, oregano, salt, and lemon. In short: ingredients you know.
  • Prefer simple or unprocessed foods
  • Find balance in dietary patterns and lifestyle
  • Seek help from a dietitian or nutritionist
  • Educate yourself about healthy food choices and reap the benefits later in life
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Some other examples of foods that are often ultra-processed:

  • Pre-packaged snacks and cakes
  • Ice cream and sweets
  • Chocolates, candy and sweets
  • Soft drinks, soft drinks and some “fruit juices”
  • Energy and sports drinks
  • Fried products containing hydrogenated vegetable fats for example
  • Sugar, yeast, “protein products”, emulsifiers and other additives
  • Breakfast cereals, muesli and muesli bars
  • Yogurt (flavored or sweetened), yogurt drinks
  • Dairy drinks (chocolate milk
  • Shake (for meal replacement)
  • Pastries, cakes and pie
  • Class

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Megan Vasquez

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