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Food Facts Eating ultra-processed foods ‘linked to cancer,’ study says

The study discovered that people who eat more ultra-processed food have a higher risk of cancer. Such foods are the ones with unrecognizable and unpronounceable words on the list of ingredients.

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A new study, published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal, found that a 10 percent increase in the amount of ultra-processed foods in a person's diet was linked to a 12 percent increase in cancers of some kind.

We eat a lot of ultra-processed food and these foods tend to be sugary and not so great for us. So, when we talk about ultra-processed foods, we have to remember that it’s a vague category that only loosely communicates the nutrition of its foods.

 

Foods including diet coke, cakes, chicken nuggets and mass-produced bread as "ultra-processed". These are what are usually used in the making of unprocessed foods; food coloring, flavor extracts, artificial sweeteners, anti-caking agents and many more.

READ ALSO: Ebony’s jollof is the best in the whole world – OGee The MC

The study discovered that people who eat more ultra-processed food have a higher risk of cancer. Such foods are the ones with unrecognizable and unpronounceable words on the list of ingredients (anything from the candy that turns your tongue blue to healthier-sounding canned soups packed with artificial flavors, additives or emulsifiers.)

Most food is processed to some degree, but ultra-processed foods are typically much more calorie-, sodium- and sugar packed.

"This study doesn't mean that people should think 'if I eat this cracker, I'm going to get cancer,' " McCullough said. "The overriding message of this study was really to look at an overall diet pattern rather than a specific ingredient, and it supports a lot of what we already know."

READ ALSO: How to prepare chocolate pancakes

Eating more highly processed foods are probably eating fewer healthy foods, which may help prevent cancer. Nutritionists recommend a diet rich in whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables instead of foods that have little nutritional value.

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