Processed foods are bad for your heart

Highly processed foods: That's how unhealthy additives are

Status: 04.05.2021 2:36 p.m.

Whether ready meals, sausage products, industrially manufactured bread and pastries, soft drinks, dairy products or muesli bars: Highly processed foods, so-called UPS (Ultraproceeded Foods), often contain additives and are considered unhealthy.

In fact, studies show that many of these foods can make you not only fat, but also sick - and that they can shorten life. They can promote inflammation, change the composition of our intestinal flora and the microbiome and lead to over-acidification of the metabolism. Every second product from the grocery trade is now considered highly processed and potentially harmful to health.

Artificial additives can cause illness

The artificial additives are intended to give food or enhance it, make it durable and spice it up visually. Or they contain filling materials that give them more volume. But all these substances have one thing in common: They can make you sick. Because the more processed foods are and the more additives they contain, the more diseases they can promote.

Increased risk of inflammation, diabetes and colon cancer

This connection has been proven in studies and can even be observed in inflammation levels in the blood. Such products can also increase blood sugar levels and promote diabetes. Sweeteners can cause irritable bowel syndrome due to changes in the microbiome, and processed meat can increase the risk of colon cancer in the long term. The carboxy methyl cellulose used as wallpaper paste also binds cake fillings, pudding or ice cream - and can promote chronic inflammation of the intestinal mucosa.

Immune system is compromised as by infection

Some highly processed foods rob you of energy, make you tired, and impair your ability to concentrate and your body feeling. In a study on animals, it was shown that the immune system can react to processed foods in a similar way to a bacterial infection.

Healthy Eating: Recognizing Harmful Food

The so-called NOVA food classification divides food into four groups. People who value a healthy diet should avoid products of the fourth category as far as possible:

  • Unprocessed or underprocessed products such as fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, eggs or milk as well as dried fruit, frozen vegetables and frozen fish
  • Oil, flour, salt and sugar
  • Food of the first group that has been made more durable or changed in taste by cooking, baking, fermenting or preserving. This includes, for example, processed products with few ingredients such as cheese, bread, ham, pasta, canned tomatoes or smoked fish.
  • Highly processed foods that have gone through several processing steps and contain many ingredients and additives. This includes sausage products, meat products, baked goods, dry soups, soft drinks, ice cream, sweets and ready meals such as frozen pizza.

Nutritional studies using this classification have shown that frequent consumption of Group 4 foods can significantly reduce life expectancy.

Pay attention to the list of ingredients when shopping

When shopping, it is worth taking a look at the list of ingredients: the longer it is, the sooner the product should stay on the shelf. More than 15 ingredients are too many. All substances that serve to preserve the food and enhance the color or taste should be avoided. Emulsifiers, which are supposed to ensure that the fat in the product does not separate from the water, should not be included if possible. Even if unknown ingredients come up that could not be in your own kitchen, caution is advised.

Clean Eating: Eating from foods without additives

Clean eating is a diet that consists only of pure, unprocessed foods and does not contain any additives. A lot of natural fiber and protein, plenty of vegetables and bran are particularly healthy. Carbohydrates should be consumed in moderation and bread should be made from whole grains and ideally self-baked.

Experts on the subject

Dr. Silja Schäfer, nutritionist
Dana Höft (dietician)
Group practice doctors an der Au
Stony 116
24107 Kiel-Suchsdorf

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Martin Smollich, pharmacologist
Institute for Nutritional Medicine
University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck Campus
Ratzeburger Allee 160
23538 Lübeck
(0451) 31 01 84 01


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Visit | 05/04/2021 | 8:15 pm