A new study suggests that the so-called ultra-processed foods can boost cancer risk by a significant amount. Ultra-processed foods are foods which contain ingredients that are so unnatural that your great-great-grandma wouldn’t recognize if she were still alive.
The study, which appeared this week in the BMJ, suggests that foods like candies that turn your tongue green and instant soups that are loaded with chemicals are cancer-causing. Unlike processed foods, ultra-processed ones contain a lot more sugar, calories, and salt.
People who routinely eat these foods also tend to be obese and overweight. They have heart and circulation issues and are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Past studies have tied excess consumption of processed foods like salami and hot dogs to higher risk of colorectal cancer.
Ultra-Processed Foods Boost Overall Cancer Risk
The new study discovered a link between ultra-processed foods and cancer after researchers combed through data on more than 100,000 French adults. The participants filled in questionnaires about their favorite foods from a list containing more than 3,000 different foods.
- Study authors found that if a participant boosted their intake of ultra-processed foods by 10% their cancer risk jumped by more than 10%.
- Researchers underlined that sugary drinks and other ultra-processed foods and drinks boost the risk of overall cancer.
Also, people who like ultra-processed foods a little bit too much were also more likely to engage in unhealthy habits like smoking and exercising less than their peers not interested in the foods.
The study underscored that the recently found link remained strong even after the research team adjusted the findings for other factors that may influence the outcomes. Researcher Mathilde Touvier described the study results as “quite concerning”.
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