It always feels easy to reach out and grab a packet of noodles or a box of biscuits when you’re hungry and feel lazy to cook. While they do taste delicious, are you eating too much of them? And do you know what exactly they’re made of?
Recently, The Guardian reported that these “ultra-processed foods” have a link to cancer due to the ingredients that are often found in them. The unhealthy levels of sugar and far along with artificial preservatives were to blame for this correlation.
The term “ultra-processed food” was coined by a group of Brazilian scientists. Apart from raw and organic sources of food, they split them further into different grades of processed food, with “ultra-processed” being labelled “formulations made mostly or entirely from substances derived from foods and additives”.
The study, led by Mathilde Touvier, which was published in the British Medical Journal, studied 105,000 adults and found a link between those who ate 10% more processed food than usual and having a 12% higher chance of developing cancer.
“If confirmed in other populations and settings, these results suggest that the rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods may drive an increasing burden of cancer in the next decades,” the team said.
“The results are very strong – very consistent and quite compelling,” Touvier said. “But we have to be cautious. It is the first study. We should not be alarmist. These results need to be confirmed in other prospective studies.”
At the end of the day, nothing beats a good and wholesome home-cooked meal where you know exactly what’s going into your food. So are you willing to take a risk or will you change your diet to be more natural?
By Gilbert Wong, Men’s Health Content Producer