Photo by Salt Water New England

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Guardian: How ultra-processed food took over your shopping basket

Alternatives to Ultra-Processed - Photo by Salt Water New England
In The Guardian:
Ultra-processed foods (or UPF) now account for more than half of all the calories eaten in the UK and US...  
Unless you grow, forage or catch all your own food, almost everything you consume has been processed to some extent. A pint of milk is pasteurised, a pea may be frozen. Cooking is a process. Fermentation is a process. Artisanal, organic kimchi is a processed food, and so is the finest French goat’s cheese. No big deal. 
But UPFs are different. They are processed in ways that go far beyond cooking or fermentation...   [A]n ultra-processed diet – with its soft textures and strong flavours – really does cause over-eating and weight gain, regardless of the sugar content. 
- How ultra-processed food took over your shopping basket <https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/feb/13/how-ultra-processed-food-took-over-your-shopping-basket-brazil-carlos-monteiro>

17 comments:

  1. After being diagnosed with Stage 2b breast cancer this past year (an 8-month struggle with two surgeries), I gave up processed foods and follow a whole foods plant based diet (John McDougall and Caldwell Esselstyn--Forks Over Knives). I will never eat ultra-processed 'corporate' food again.

    Thank you for posting the article Muffy.

    N from VA

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    1. Anonymous, I'm so glad to hear that you have changed your diet and are doing well. It makes a huge difference in prevention but also recovery from all the toxins used to treat cancer. I would like to recommend a book for you by a Naturopathic Medical Doctor ( NMD), Colleen Huber. Colleen is an excellent physician/Oncologist who changed my life 21 years ago by teaching me the value of whole organic foods. The name of her book is, Choose Your Foods Like Your Life Depends On Them. The current book is the 3rd edition which also specifically addresses cancer and diet. Colleen wasn't an oncologist when I was first her but she was always passionate about the value of a healthy organic whole food diet. Her website is https://colleenhuber.com/ Colleen taught me how to shop economically for whole organic foods at a time when they weren't as readily available and were extremely expensive.
      Be Well from VA

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    2. Thank you Anonymous. I will look into Colleen Huber's book and website. Appreciate your message.

      N from VA

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    3. My husband and I follow enjoy a whole foods plant-based low fat way of eating and have found it truly joyful and rewarding. "Forks Over Knives" is an excellent documentary, and so is "Diet Fiction" (now on Amazon Prime). We are big fans of Colin Campbell (The China Study), Caldwell Esselstyn (and his son, Rip), John McDougall, Michael Greger, Dean Ornish, Pam Popper, Drs. Alona Pulde and Matt Lederman, and others who have contributed to educating people on the importance of the food we eat.

      Jacqueline (also in VA)

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    4. @ N from VA: I'm also from VA and had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Nutrition as Medicine seminar in Virginia Beach last November. Great speakers included Dean Ornish and Michael Greger. It was sold out with over a thousand people attending. It was organized by Sentara Health Care because they have an Ornish program there. It made me feel very optimistic about potential changes to see so many enthusiastic people of all ages in attendance. It was well organized and included a delicious plant-based lunch. They have a Facebook page you can join. It's Nutrition as Medicine.

      Jacqueline in VA

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    5. I hope you are doing well with the cancer.

      We went to the McDougall program a few years ago. I was flabbergasted at the results. My wife was able to get off all blood pressure medications – completely, just after a few days. My cholesterol went from 217 to 165. Then, over the next several months, I dropped 45 pounds. There was no effort involved except to eat plant-based with no added oil, and this became easy. At the end of the week, I’d get on the scale and another pound or two had abandoned me. It really was easy. As I say, this was six years ago. We’ve maintained the weight loss and the good blood chemistry for all that time with no yo-yoing. We love eating healthy like this and also are happy to no longer contribute to the mass slaughter of sentient animals for food.

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  2. I have a feeling we will someday discover that processed foods with high levels of salt or sugar are addictive in ways we don't currently understand. Thinking evolves - butter used to be evil, high in saturated fat, until we figured out that margarine (trans fats) are worse, and they're both worse than using olive or canola oil as healthier substitutes. There is some logic to keeping things simple - baking a potato, scrambling some eggs, so long as you don't drown them in cheez wiz......

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    1. You might want to watch “forks over knives”.
      Dr. Micheal Gregor’s Nutritionfacts.org is a great resource.

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    2. Andrew, the food industry is well-aware of how addicting sugar, salt and other additives are. They design foods to reach a bliss point- the point where our brains respond/release the most dopamine and opioids. Just like the tech industry designs algorithms to create addicts, so does the food industry. I can tell you from experience that after 6 years of not consuming even one soda pop or any fast food, I became instantly addicted to Coke and McDonald's chicken nuggets after just one meal. My husband and I were having to travel every other day when his sister was dying. We often didn't have any choice in where we ate and so, one night we stopped at McDonald's. I couldn't believe how addicting that food was. I thought about the food all night and wanted to eat there the next morning. That's NOT normal! Fortunately, I had enough discipline to detox myself for a few days and never go back but it really made me aware of how dangerous these foods can be.
      Did you hear about the class action suit against Popeye's because they ran out of chicken sandwiches? That's how addicts behave!

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    3. Yes, yes, yes, to Michael Greger's NutritionFacts.Org! Both of his books are excellent too. "How Not to Die" is my favorite, but his newest one, "How Not to Diet," is good too. He is on tour for that book right now, and he is all over the place. They list his appearances on his website, and he is an interesting speaker. Check out his videos on the site.

      Jacqueline

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  3. " ........ with its soft textures and strong flavours .... " This certainly is the appeal of these foodstuffs though . I eat them , but in small quantities .

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  4. You'll have to pry that glazed doughnut from my cold, dead, bony fingers.

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  5. Two more sources:

    1) 60 Minutes w/ Morley Safer - Natural Flavorings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh37RbRBFKM

    2) YouTube vlogger: Bobby Parrish - Grocery Store Hauls.
    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bobby+parrish%2C+grocery+store+haul

    The 60 Minutes segment introduced its' viewers to scientists called Flavorists, whose job it is to tweak taste and create cravings.

    Bobby Parrish's Grocery Store Hauls educates the viewers regarding food labels, and the ingredients to avoid.

    From these two sources, I've come to believe that the food industry is not our friend and is perpetuating our current obesity crisis for their profits.

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    1. I was just about to mention Bobby Parrish and his grocery store adventures. He does an excellent job at educating the public what to buy, what not to buy and why. I usually don't care for the food Network celebs but he's the best and I've learned a lot from him even though I consider myself to be a moderately educated person in nutrition.
      The food industry is not out to make anyone sick or healthy. They are out to make large profits and care nothing about the consequences. Drug companies, insurance companies and big Ag all profit from the current system. The FDA and other bureaucratic tendrils are just subcontractors for those industries. Even worse, all those so called non-profits that pretend to advocate for cancer patients, diabetics, MS, ALS, Parkinsons etc.. are NOT doing so. Many years ago a friend contacted me because he had been diagnosed with type II diabetes and was panicking. He wanted me to help him design a healthy diet. He showed me what the veteran's admin and the diabetic association had recommended and I red-lined. Bagels? Rolled oats? No one suggested he stop eating breakfast at IHOP and McDonald's. All I could think about was that they wanted him to die asap.

      The consumer drives the market with their insatiable appetite for trendy convenient microwavable junk ( there's no such thing as junk food..only junk). Change will only come about when individuals are willing to make the lifestyle sacrifices necessary to incorporate a healthy whole food diet which includes allowing time for planning, preparation and meal time with friends or family.

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  6. Thanks for posting this article, Muffy. I think everyone should watch "Diet Fiction (Amazon Prime) and "Forks Over Knives" (Netflix). I would highly recommend this book by John Mackey (co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market): "The Whole Foods Diet: The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity." No, he's not promoting the stores! His co-authors are Alona Pulde, M.D. and Matthew Lederman, M.D., who are featured in "Forks Over Knives" and practice preventive medicine. The reason I tout this book is because it is an excellent introduction to all of the other "Whole Foodie Heroes" (Dean Ornish, John McDougall, Neal Barnard, Caldwell Esselstyn, Michael Greger, Joel Fuhrman, T. Colin Campbell, and others). It's a good starting point for what could be an important and wonderful journey toward better health. "Let Food Be Thy Medicine."

    Jacqueline

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  7. It's all part of the plot. The ubiquitous 'they' won't stop until all of us weigh 700 pounds and cannot get up from the L-shaped, overstuffed modular sofas with levered recliners at either end. I'm off to the kitchen now for another Entenmann's chocolate doughnut (a mere 290 calories per) and a third mug of coffee.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

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  8. I am not an absolutist by any stretch, do believe in practicality and moderation. Sensible behavior never hurt anyone. I've switched from olives to a lemon peel in my (gin) martini. Prost!

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