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On Processing Foods

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

In order to keep healthier I review my client's food intake with them.

Here is the difference between whole, processed and ultra processed foods.

In the UK, Canada and the USA over half of our weekly intake of food on average comes from processed foods and mainly in the form of ultra processed foods. This has a huge implication for our health as these foods are associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome, obesity, heart/cardiovascular disease and lifestyle related cancers such as those of the bowel.

The NOVA food classification system categorises into four different groups of food products:

  • Unprocessed and minimally processed foods;

  • Processed culinary ingredients;

  • Processed foods; and

  • Ultra-processed foods.

Ideally we need to be eating more unprocessed and minimally processed foods percentage wise in our diets and less of the ultra processed foods.

Here you can see a meal which mixes unprocessed foods with some minimally and a processed food but has no ultra processed foods:

This is avocado, tomato, lettuce, fig and hummous with spices, some herbs on a wholegrain slice of rye bread.

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