Junk food: What role does it play in a healthy diet?

 

Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers are responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide. It makes sense that we’d want to better understand the risk factors that contribute to these diseases, especially when it comes to things that are within our control, including what we choose to eat.

We all intuitively know that unhealthy diets contribute to many of these diseases, but what does the science actually say?

Well, Chen and his colleagues took a look at all the studies done on ultra-processed foods to determine exactly how they affect our health.

What exactly are “ultra-processed foods”? These are foods that have been altered from their original state by multiple processes that could include rolling, puffing, grinding and pearling. Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and emulsifiers are often added. These give foods a longer shelf-life and also make them super attractive to our palates.

Examples include soft...

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