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Tuesday, 12 October 2021

'Ultra-processed foods and cancer risk'

 The Link Between Processed Foods and Cancer

Emerging research has resurfaced from the international peer-reviewed medical journal, The BMJ, and has found a strong correlation between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and the increased risk of cancer. Previous studies have found links between ultra-processed foods and their contribution to increasing the risk of cardiometabolic disorders, such as obesity and hypertension. This was one of the first studies to specifically focus on the link between the level of food processing and cancer risk - but it echoes concerns that many in the health and nutrition community have been vocal on for years.

This large study found a 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with an increase of more than 12% in the risk of overall cancer and 11% in the risk of breast cancer. The study involved 104,980 participants aged at least 18 years from a French cohort.

From 2009 to 2017 dietary intakes were collected using repeated 24-hour dietary records, tracking participants’ consumption of 3300 different food items. The results indicated ultra-processed fats, sauces, sugary products, and drinks were associated with an increased risk of overall cancer, and ultra-processed sugary products were associated with the risk of breast cancer.

Worrying Increase In Ultra-Processed Food Consumption
Increasingly over the past decades, diets in many countries have shifted towards a dramatic increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods. The shift to higher consumption of these food products can be largely put down to being conceived as safe, convenient, tasty, and affordable.

Studies considering food consumption habits, including household food expense surveys and supermarket sales, have found ultra-processed food products contribute to between 25% and 50% of total daily energy intake. Americans are said to receive 61% of their calories from highly processed foods.

This new research sheds important light on the dangers of these commonly purchased and consumed foods, and will hopefully contribute to the changing perception that processed foods are not as harmless as once thought.

Key Cancer-Causing Characteristics
Several characteristics of ultra-processed foods may be involved in causing cancer. The higher content of total fat, saturated fat, and added sugar and salt, along with a lower fibre and vitamin density are of considerable concern. These components are contributors to inflammation in the body, and chronic inflammation has been found to increase cancer risk.

Neo-Formed Contaminants In Processed Foods
Beyond their nutritional make-up, the industrial preparation of these foods (particularly heat treating for flavour and digestibility) could be contributing to their carcinogenic properties. Acrylamide, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are present in heat-treated processed food products and have been linked with cancer risk. Additionally, dangerous materials and chemicals found in processed food packaging including fluorine and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), have been linked with fertility and thyroid problems, developmental delays in children along with increased cancer risks.

While this research only uncovers patterns and correlations between processed food consumption and cancer risk, the researchers consider the findings to be significant and worthy of further investigation. Hopefully, ultra-processed foods will continue to be the subject of close scientific scrutiny and perceptions of these nutritionally devoid products will change.
Words above from article here

Perhaps even more reason to eat whole fresh food!


Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles, studies and recipe ideas within this blog, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

30 comments:

Hootin' Anni said...

Those are startling numbers!!

Tom said...

...spooky!

aussie aNNie said...

wow, this is an eye opener post, we all cook our own and have been aware of processed foods and cancer...makes you wonder really what's in them...x

Lorrie said...

I think we've suspected this for a very long time - I'm glad that we eat very few processed foods.

peppylady (Dora) said...

They need to make healthier food cheaper.
Coffee is on and stay safe

Christine said...

Thanks for sharing, good to be aware

Linda said...

Very interesting article.

Elephant's Child said...

And ultra processed food doesn't taste as good either...

Margaret D said...

My goodness. Interesting read.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hello !!! ... Food as you say is our best ally for our health and well being ... Happy week

Marco Luijken said...

Hello Jan,
A nice post with delicious vegetables.
Nice picture.

Greetings, Marco

CJ Kennedy said...

thanks for sharing

Jenn Jilks said...

Not a surprise.

carol l mckenna said...

Very informative post ~ best to eat natural foods as often as possible ~ Xo

Living in the moment,

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

This N That said...

Informative as always..Thanks for making me more knowledgeable..

DUTA said...

The key to health or disease lies in our nutrition. Processed foods are bad to our health, but even veggies, considered natural and healthy, like broccoli, for instance, present dangers. Its head is full of bacteria and even thorough washing doesn't eliminate them.

Phil Slade said...

Jan. I took the link you offered and found it hard to read. Your summary and easy reading narrative should be compulsory reading everywhere. Of course it wont be because there is too much vested interest in keeping the status quo. Follow the money.

Can you imagine what might happen if junk food advertising and propaganda was banned fron newspaper, TV and the Internet?

Bob Bushell said...

Better late than it is now, thanks Jan.

https://linsartyblobs.blogspot.com said...

It is very worrying what goes into these foods.

Sue said...

Crikey that's frightening isn't it! x

Snowbird said...

This will have me reaching for fresh food! What an enlightening post.xxx

Lowcarb team member said...

DUTA mentioned cleaning Broccoli in her comment, this article shows three ways to do this.
Have a look here
https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Broccoli

All the best Jan

Gloria Baker said...

I never like ultra rocessed foods! Really I think are not healthy.
Anyway I love fruits and veggies! xo

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

So many are totally unaware of the dangers of a highly processed food diet. Manufacturers are out to make money not be concerened about health. Great post.. thanks

bread&salt said...

Very useful post! Thanks for sharing. We try to consume homemade foods (not store bought foods). We try to get organic foods.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Jan,:=) I wish everyone could read your article. I have been aware for some time that junk food is bad for your health, but the numbers you provide are startling. As I live on a farm, I do eat healthfully as fresh products are always available. Some people just don't or won't, take the time to cook fresh food, and it seems a shame when there are so many inexpensive recipes to be had that don't take long to cook.

My name is Erika. said...

Fascinating post. Ultra processed foods aren't good for us in so many ways, aren't they? Hope the week is going well.

Conniecrafter said...

so scary not to know what is actually in process foods and how it can be harming us

baili said...

dear Jan this is great posting ,i just called my younger son to show this along with images google shows regarding ultra processed food ,he like chips and spicy food which i try hard to avoid but he after goes out and is able to eat out which worries me .
thank you for being great support for so many friends!
god bless you!

Teresa said...

Un interesante reportaje. Besos.