Ultra-Processed Food risks the health of the heartVignesh Subbaian (Author) Published Date : Nov 14, 2019 13:00 IST
Eating 5 % calories from ultra-processed food increases a 5 % chance of heart risk ailments, confirms new research.
If you are an eater of much ultra-processed food, check your heart health as you are prone to be affected by it. Preliminary research to be presented in the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2019 to be held in Philadelphia from November 16 to 18 confirms it. It is sure an alarming bell for those eating more ultra-processed food, especially Americans who consume 50 % of their daily food intake only by them. The researchers used a vast amount of data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2011 â€“ 2016 to come to this critical conclusion.
What are ultra-processed foods?
According to the preliminary study researcher Zefeng Zhang from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, ultra-processed foods are made entirely from substances extracted from food. It could be from fats, starches, hydrogenated fats, added sugar, modified starch, among others. They also include cosmetic additives like artificial flavors, colors, and emulsifiers.
Zhang says most of the contents of these foods are associated with increasing the risk of heart disease. Especially the high content of salt added sugars, and saturated fats are his contention. The most common ultra-processed foods available are soft drinks, packaged salty snacks, cookies, cakes, processed meat, chicken nuggets, and many things marked with convenience foods like packaged instant soups, among others.
How was the study conducted to confirm eating ultra-processed food links to cardiovascular disease?
The researchers reviewed the results from 13,446 adults of 20 years and above after they completed a 24-hour dietary recall and answered questions about their cardiovascular health. They compared adults who ate 70 % and 40 % calories from ultra-processed food and found that those who ate 70 % were more prone to cardiovascular health problems than the 40 % eating adults. Also, the researchers found that for every 5 % rise in calories from eating ultra-processed food eaten by a person, their cardiovascular health decreased by the same percentage.
This critical study, once presented in the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2019 this weekend, will have a drastic impact on people eating ultra-processed food. They may have to take the natural route of eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for proper cardiovascular and general health.