अल्ट्रा-प्रोसेस्ड खाद्य पदार्थ का स्वास्थ्य पर बुरा प्रभाव Ultra-Processed Foods Badly Affects Public Health
डॉ. पीडी साहब अहमदाबाद में पारिवारिक मित्र के साथ  

Author : Dr. P. D.GUPTA

Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India


Out of four essential things viz., air, water, nutrition, and sleep, nutrition comes after air and water. We can live for a few weeks without sleep but we need the energy to run our body systems efficiently which comes from nutrition. We have to get nutrition either externally from food or body reserves. Our body saves and stores energy in the form of fats, glycogen, and proteins as reserves for future use as we save money and deposit it in the bank for hay days. Therefore, eating nutrient-dense and nourishing foods is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  

Nowadays eating out (not cooking at home is a fashion and either we prefer takeaway (pick up while coming from work), home delivery of food or going to a restaurant and eating. These convenience foods may come at a high cost to our health leave besides money, much more than we previously realized, and become fashionable. The research found that people who consumed higher amounts of “ultra-processed” foods are at greater risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer, and early death as now happening in advanced countries like USA and many  European countries.

Ultra-processed Foods

Ultra-processed foods go through multiple processes, are highly manipulated, and do not contain enough of the beneficial nutrients the body requires. Research has shown that ultra-processed foods make up about 58% of Americans’ diets and are linked to various health issues in public. Ultra-processed foods contain high levels of fat, salt, and sugar, along with various additives. These foods are made in an industrial setting and include such ingredients as emulsifiers, artificial flavors, coloring, preservatives, and bulking agents. Examples of ultra-processed foods are

frozen meals,


cold cuts,


ready-to-eat or microwave meals.

Other examples of ultra-processed foods include:

* Energy bars

* Sodas and sweetened juices

* Powdered and instant soups

* Margarine

* Infant formulas

* Sweetened yogurt

* Meal replacement beverages 

* Sweetened breakfast cereals

* Packaged soups

* Ice-cream

* Hotdogs

* Chicken nuggets

This is not written here to frighten you. In the public interest scientists work hard to convince you, please read through to get convinced.

A diet high in ultra-processed foods increases men's risk for colorectal cancer. The researchers examined data from over 46,000 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and about 160,000 women from two different groups of the Nurses’ Health Study. The participants had no cancer diagnoses at the beginning of the research. The researchers followed up with the participants of the age group 24 -28 years and found 3,216 cases of colorectal cancer in both men and women.

What’s noteworthy is that men who ate the most ultra-processed foods reported a 29% higher risk of developing colorectal cancer than those who ate the least ultra-processed foods. Like The researchers reported no association between overall ultra-processed food consumption and increased colorectal cancer risk in women. Further research is needed to determine why this is the case. Additionally, the researchers note that men who ate more meat, poultry, or seafood-based ready-to-eat products and sugar-sweetened beverages had a higher risk of colorectal cancer.

The second study, published in The British Medical Journal, analyzed the diets of more than 22,000 people in   Italy.” The aim was basically to see what type of perspective counts most in terms of defining the long-term risk of mortality of our participants,” explained lead author Dr. Marialaura Bonaccio, from Italy. The researchers found that the participants with the highest ultra-processed food intake reported the highest risk of cause mortality and death due to cardiovascular diseases.   

Another recent study revealed that eating over five ounces (141.7g) of processed meat per week can put you at a higher risk of heart disease and early death.

Other studies have found that sugary drinks such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Energy drinks can increase the risk of colorectal cancer in young people.

Eating a diet that relies on processed food can be seriously harmful to our health. Previous research has already shown that ultra-processed foods can negatively impact brain functioning. Therefore, start taking steps to reduce your intake of ultra-processed foods. The best way is to start slow and add some new healthy foods to your diet each week. Over time, you will notice that healthy foods have replaced unhealthy ones. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests opting for fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible and cutting out minimizing beverages with added sugars and processed foods from your diet. (The author has his own study and views)