Fast track to heart attack: Ultra-processed foods damage heart health, new study warns

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ultra-processed-foods(NaturalHealth365)  Scientists have long known that a diet high in ultra-processed food or junk food can cause serious health problems.  It’s been linked to several serious medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and more.  However, the quantification of this risk factor remained unclear to many conventionally trained physicians and scientists.

But, a new review published in February 2024 found that eating ultra-processed foods can drastically increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious cardiovascular events.  And the more ultra-processed food you consume, the more your risk increases.  So, from now on, doctors should know that the “debate” is over and start warning the public in a stronger way.

Research reveals the impact of ultra-processed foods on cardiovascular health

The review, headed by researchers from China’s Tangdu Hospital at the Air Force Medical University in Shaanxi Province, included data from 20 major studies involving more than 1 million participants.  Their analysis identified a positive, predictable connection between cardiovascular events and the consumption of ultra-processed foods.

Some studies measured food consumption by the number of ultra-processed food-containing meals, while others measured the calories ingested from these food products.  The results were the same, though.  A 10% increase in the consumption of ultra-processed food was linked to a 2% increase in the risk of a cardiovascular event.

The researchers maintained strict standards regarding how the study was carried out, such as the requirement that they use the NOVA Food Classification System.  This system assigns various foods to different categories on a scale from raw/unprocessed to ultra-processed.  Foods that meet the ultra-processed criteria are made mostly or entirely from artificial ingredients or substances extracted from food.

The studies also needed to track cardiovascular events as endpoints.  This meant they looked at things like heart attacks, strokes, hospitalizations for unstable angina, and other heart-related issues.  On average, the studies followed participants for around 12 years.  When compared to other groups, those consuming ultra-processed foods showed a significant increase in health risks.

To be clear: Ultra-processed food is NOT food

Ultra-processed food, or junk food, is proof that just because it’s edible doesn’t mean that it’s food.  These unnatural foods have high levels of denatured salt, toxic fat, simple sugars, and neurotoxic artificial ingredients that all contribute to physical damage of the body.  Junk food offers trace amounts of nutrition, if any, and is bad for your health no matter how old you are.

However, studies have shown that ultra-processed foods are especially harmful to children.

It is simply chemicals and calories that are devoid of nutrition, causing malnutrition, which leads to obesity, chronic illness, and serious medical conditions.  The lack of nutrients can cause delays in development or development problems and health issues in children that they will carry into adulthood.

These foods also have strong addictive properties, which can alter a person’s food choices for the rest of their life.  At the very least, they encourage the development of poor dietary habits that will be very difficult to break.

Break the cycle: Say no to ultra-processed foods

Ultra-processed foods are addictive, but you can break the cycle, regardless of age.  As a parent, you have a responsibility to limit or cut out completely these dietary killers.

Begin with hydration.  Drinking plenty of clean water to help flush out your system and help you eliminate all the junk that those foods put into your body.

Choose fresh, whole (organic) foods and eat raw or minimally processed foods, as often as possible.  It may take some time for your taste buds to adjust, but they will.  Over time, by eating healthy foods, you will stop craving the toxic junk foods that have been hurting your health.

Take the time to find alternative foods to satisfy your cravings.  Blueberries are sweet and packed with nutrients, including antioxidants that boost your mood.  They also make a great alternative to candy.  Search the internet for healthy snack recipes.  There are so many out there.

It may take a little more effort, but your health is worth it.  Start making changes today.

Editor’s note: Discover the best ways to avoid a heart attack or stroke, own the Cardiovascular Docu-Class created by NaturalHealth365 Programs.

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