What is ultraprocessed food? MailOnline's guide will help you tell them apart trends now

What is ultraprocessed food? MailOnline's guide will help you tell them apart trends now
What is ultraprocessed food? MailOnline's guide will help you tell them apart trends now

What is ultraprocessed food? MailOnline's guide will help you tell them apart trends now

We're constantly told to eat fewer ultraprocessed foods.

A raft of studies over the years have warned of the dangers of eating too many biscuits, cakes and crisps.  

And researchers yesterday added to the ever-growing body of evidence, with data suggesting that a diet heavy in ultra-processed foods may also lead to dementia.

But what even are ultraprocessed foods? MailOnline has created a guide to answer exactly that question... 

Nutritionists split food into three groups based on the amount of processing they have gone through. Minimally processed foods, like apples, are usually exactly how they appear in nature . Processed foods, like apple sauce, have gone through at least one level of processing that has changed their original form. In contrast, ultraprocessed foods like apple jelly babies, have gone through multiple levels of processing and are usually full of extra fats, colours and preservatives

Nutritionists split food into three groups based on the amount of processing they have gone through. Minimally processed foods, like apples, are usually exactly how they appear in nature . Processed foods, like apple sauce, have gone through at least one level of processing that has changed their original form. In contrast, ultraprocessed foods like apple jelly babies, have gone through multiple levels of processing and are usually full of extra fats, colours and preservatives

WHAT ARE ULTRA-PROCESSED FOODS? 

Ultra-processed foods are high in added fat, sugar and salt, low in protein and fibre and contain artificial colourings, sweeteners and preservatives.

The term covers food that contains ingredients that a person wouldn't add when cooking at home — such as chemicals, colourings and preservatives.

Ready meals, ice cream, sausages, deep-fried chicken and ketchup are some of the best-loved examples.

They are different to processed foods, which are processed to make them last longer or enhance their taste, such as cured meat, cheese and fresh bread.

Ultra-processed foods, such as sausages, cereals, biscuits and fizzy drinks, are formulations made mostly or entirely from substances derived from foods and additives.

They contain little or no unprocessed or minimally processed foods, such as fruit, vegetables, seeds and eggs.

The foods are usually packed with sugars, oils, fats and salt, as well as  additives, such as preservatives, antioxidants and stabilisers.

Ultra-processed foods are often presented as ready-to-consume, taste good and are cheap.

Source: Open Food Facts  

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Processing refers to adding to or altering raw ingredients, for example by storing in oil or putting sugar or salt into them.

Nutritionists split food into three groups based on the amount of processing they have gone through. 

Foods like apples are usually exactly how they appear in nature, and are classed as minimally processed.

Processed foods, such as apple sauce, have gone through at least one level of processing that has changed their original form. 

In contrast, ultraprocessed foods like apple pies have gone through multiple levels of processing and are usually full of extra fats, colours and preservatives.

Ready meals, ice cream, sausages, deep-fried chicken and ketchup are some of the best-loved examples.

While processed foods have usually only undergone a simple level of processing, for example salt curing, ultraprocessed foods usually involve things people would not do when cooking at home, like adding chemicals.

They are the least healthy group that have been linked to a host of diseases, not least because they are more calorie-dense than their less processed counterparts.

A recent study linked the foods to dementia in 70,000 middle-aged people which were tracked for a decade.

The foods' higher fat content led to a build up of cholesterol that limits bloodflow to the brain, Chinese researchers said.

And they often contain additives as well as molecules from packaging which have been shown to harm thinking and memory skills, the team said.

Although the study, published in

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