Thoughts on Better Aging

Why You Need to Quit Ultra-Processed Foods Today

June 10th, 2018

Changing your diet may protect against cancer and Alzheimer’s

When it comes to aging, genetics are less important than your attitude. If you are committed to behavioral and lifestyle factors that support healthy aging, you are much more likely to find yourself enjoying a long and active life.

One of the most important lifestyle factors is nutrition. We’re talking about more than just watching the quantity of food that you eat in order to avoid gaining weight and becoming prey to the host of health issues associated with obesity. You also need to consider the quality of your food to reduce your risk of serious age-related health issues.

The Problem with Ultra-Processed Foods

Processed foods are extremely common in our modern diet. Technically, anything but fresh, whole food is a processed food (think apples versus mass-produced applesauce). However, not all mass-produced processed foods are bad. It’s when processed foods contain additives like hydrogenated oils (trans fats), modified starches, and protein isolates that you should be worried (think apples versus packaged single-serve apple pie). These kinds of foods are considered “ultra-processed” foods.

Ultra-processed foods like packaged buns, snack cakes, sodas, chicken and fish nuggets, ready meals, instant noodles, etc. can be harmful to health in three main ways:

  • They tend to have poor nutritional content, with higher total fat, sodium, and sugar and lower fiber and vitamin content
  • They may be packaged using materials that have carcinogenic or endocrine-disrupting properties
  • They may contain food additives that can cause cancer

According to surveys from Europe, the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Brazil, 25 to 50 percent of the average person’s diet consists of ultra-processed foods. This may lead to increased incidence of cancer and Alzheimer’s.

In a recently published study from the journal BMJ, researchers found that a 10 percent increase in the amount of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a greater than 10 percent increase in the risk of cancer.

Past research has shown that ultra-processed foods in the diet can also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. For example, one study showed that eating two grams of trans fats per day doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Change Your Diet Now

If you want to protect yourself against cancer and Alzheimer’s, you need to start reducing the amount of ultra-processed foods you eat today. Replace these mass-produced packaged foods with meals and snacks made from whole, fresh ingredients. You should also consider taking a multivitamin to make sure your body is getting all the nutrition it needs as you age. At Renew Youth, we offer a high-quality multivitamin that has been third-party tested for potency and purity. We can also offer injectable nutrient formulas including essential vitamins and amino acids that are protective of memory and brain health. To learn more, contact us today.

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