Eating “ultra-processed foods", like sausages, ice cream and pizza, could increase the risk of early death by 60 per cent, research suggests. Two studies, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), have found a link between foods which contain high levels of added fat and sugar and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. The research showed that those eating four portions of ultra-processed food every day had a 62 per cent increased mortality risk, compared with those consuming less than two servings.Furthermore, each additional serving increased the risk of early death by almost a fifth (18 per cent).The findings, from separate teams in France and Spain, contribute to a growing body of evidence that processed foods may play a role in an array of medical disorders such as cancer and obesity.In the first study, researchers at the University of Paris gathered details on the diets and health of more than 105,000 people. Over five years of follow-up, the researchers found that those who consumed the most ultra-processed food were most at risk of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. What’s more, every 10 per cent increase in consumption of ultra-processed food was linked to a 13 per cent rise in rates of heart disease, and an 11 per cent risk in diseases which cause strokes.For the second study, a team at the University of Navarra in Spain monitored the eating habits and health of nearly 20,000 graduates from 1999 to 2014. The researchers' findings showed that those eating four portions a day of highly processed foods had a 62 per cent increased mortality risk, compared with those eating less than two.The scientists warned that people need to be more aware of what they are consuming, and should consider cutting out processed meats and convenience meals, in favour of more natural foods.They also warned that modern lifestyles mean up to 60 per cent of daily energy intake is now coming from factory-produced foods.Dr Mathilde Touvier, from the University of Paris, told BBC News: “The rapid and worldwide increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods, to the detriment of less processed foods, may drive a substantial burden of cardiovascular diseases in the next decades.”“[The] evidence is accumulating. Increasing numbers of independent studies observe associations between ultra-processed foods and adverse health effects.”The findings follow a recent study which revealed that ultra-processed foods make people eat more, eat faster and gain more weight. Researchers from the US National Institute of Health, found that participants put on 500 calories more per day and gained 2lbs (1kg) in weight in a two week period.Meanwhile, a group eating unprocessed food like spinach salad with chicken breast, apple slices, bulgur, and sunflower seeds, lost weight.According to the NHS, examples of common processed foods include: * breakfast cereals * cheese * tinned vegetables * bread * savoury snacks, such as crisps, sausage rolls, pies and pasties * meat products, such as bacon, sausage, ham, salami and paté * “convenience foods”, such as microwave meals or ready meals * cakes and biscuits * drinks, such as milk or soft drinks However, it states that not all processed food is a bad choice as some need processing to make them safe, such as milk, which needs to be pasteurised to remove harmful bacteria.
It's easy to feel anxious about the effect of what we consume on our precious teeth. We all know that sugar can cause decay, and caffeine can stain them brown –but did you know that there are certain foods that are actively good for your teeth?
Reducing meat consumption to a quarter of a sausage a day and eating more vegetables and nuts would protect the well-being of future generations and the planet, researchers have said. To tackle poor health and climate change experts have called for a drastic reduction in meat consumption, poultry and eggs as part of a new "planetary health diet". It says red meat and sugar consumption would have to be slashed by at least half, while that of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes such as lentils and chickpeas must double.
High street bakery Greggs is throwing itself into Veganuary with the launch of a vegan 'sausage' roll. Available alongside the regular roll, Greggs' bestselling product, the new offering will be free of animal products, replacing the sausage filling with Quorn, and wrapping it in 96 layers of puff pastry. The decision has come after a petition by animal welfare organisation PETA was launched last year calling on Greggs to product a vegan version of the product, of which 1.5 million are sold every week.
From sourdough bread to sauerkraut and kimchi, fermented food is one of the hottest health trends right now. Foodies and health-conscious people alike are becoming increasingly aware of the role of our gut microbes – collectively known as our microbiome – in improving not only our digestive health but our overall wellbeing, including mental health. “The slow fermentation process involved preparing foods like sauerkraut and kimchi (usually raw cabbage or other vegetables, with salt and spices), and miso, allows time for a diverse population of healthy bacteria and enzymes to be produced,” explains Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at Chemist Click.