What Happens to My Body When I Eat Processed Foods?

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What Happens to My Body When I Eat Processed Foods?


Baby breakfast cereals, kibble and other factory-made cordon bleus are chosen for theirs list of ingredients more than questionable.

“A food is not just about its nutritional composition, assures Anthony Fardet, researcher in preventive nutrition and author of Why complicate everything? Eating well is that simple (edited by Thierry Souccar). If its matrix has been denatured and contains a lot of additives, it comes close chemistry more edible than real food “.

Regularly putting them on the menu is like that they can affect our long-term health, as several recent scientific studies have shown.

“Ultra-processed foods are often too high in fat, added sugar and salt, and too low in protein, fiber and essential micronutrients,” notes Dr Mélissa Mialon, researcher at Trinity Business School (Ireland) and author of Bigfood & Co..

Their consumption in high doses is therefore to be prohibited.

Significant weight gain, due to the dysregulation of satiety

How are these foods generally soft, pre-chewed by industrial processes, their ingestion requires little chewing. We swallow them much faster and in larger quantities before the brain sends a satiety signal to the body.

An American study, published in July 2019 in the journal Cell metabolismthus demonstrated that people whose meals consist of ultra-processed foods ingest 50 Kcal per minute, compared to only 32 Kcal for those who eat only minimally processed foods, with carbohydrates, proteins, fats and strictly identical fibers.

Result: the former absorb about 500 kcal more per day (+ 20%), which are not seen on the scale.

“Changing the food matrix interrupts satiety,” confirms Anthony Fardet. Because sugars are free and not trapped in the matrix, they cause blood glucose levels (blood sugar) to rise more rapidly, which increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Processed foods: an increased risk of cardiovascular disease

The saturated fatty acids found in ultra-processed foods they are also more harmful than those provided by minimally processed foods, such as traditional cheeses. Unhealthy for the heart and arteries, them promote the occurrence of myocardial infarction and stroke (stroke).

These processed foods are also full of hidden salt. Gold A Excessive consumption of salt promotes increased blood pressure and stiffens the walls of the arterieswhich in the medium term weakens the heart.

Even the kidneys are not spared because “arterial hypertension is a major cause of kidney degradation”, underlines Professor Gilbert Deray, head of the nephrology department at La Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital and author of

The extraordinary powers of the kidney

(edited by Fayard).

The gut microbiota disrupted

Experiments on mice proved this ultra-processed foods inhibit the growth of good bacteria in the digestive flora, which produce compounds that are beneficial to the body. The result is an imbalance of the microbiota which has repercussions, due to the rebound effect, on general health.

Norwegian researchers from the University of Oslo have shown that these industry-degraded foods induce leaky gut and chronic body inflammation. They also alter the communication between the gut and the brain, hence a possible increase in anxiety.

Particularly offending is the lack of fiber and the presence of many additives in these foods. French scientists from the Cochin Institute specifically question emulsifiers, mainly the carboxymethylcellulose hidden under the acronym E466 in many industrial dishes.

Contributing to thedepletion of the microbiotathis additive could induce bloating and intestinal pain according to their study published in December 20218. It would also be likely to aggravate chronic inflammatory diseasessuch as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

* SIGA study on food supply, 2021

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