Cutting down on UPF - Ultra Processed Foods

‘Most UPF is not food..... It’s an industrially produced edible substance.' *

UPF – Ultra Processed Foods –  are in the press a lot because of their negative effect on our health. 

What is an ultra processed food?
A simplified explanation is that these are foods that wouldn’t be found in your kitchen. It’s not strictly true as Xanthan gum is ultra processed but I do have that in my kitchen for making gluten free cakes (although now I’ll think twice before using it). 

There is growing evidence that UPFs are bad for our health and possibly increase the chance of cancer.
The UK Food standards agency say ‘While there is a correlation between poorer health outcomes and diets that are high in ultra-processed food, we still don’t know whether it is because these foods are unhealthy because of how they are made, or if it’s because a large majority of processed foods are high in calories, saturated fat, salt and sugar.’

‘UPF damages the human body and increases rates of cancer, metabolic disease and mental illness, that it damages human societies by displacing food cultures and driving inequality, poverty and early death, and that it damages the planet.’*

So what can we do to cut back on UPF?

Cooking from scratch is the best way to cut out UPF, you’d be surprised at some of the worst things are. Even a loaf of healthy granary bread will shock you at the extra rubbish that is in it. One of the best brands to buy is Jason’s – they do a supermarket sourdough.
Stock cubes and pots are full of additives and Kallo stock cubes re the best on the shelves but that still has palm oil (sustainable). The best thing with stock is to make your own and it does last 3 months in the fridge due to the high salt content (or you can freeze it). 

We are a relatively healthy eating family or as a friend put it ‘an ingredients family’ we cook from real food and rarely have a take away. I get the odd fresh pizza or a high quality curry (if I haven’t got any I made in the freezer) for the kids to have if I’m out

Ultra processed foods

The Guardian has an interesting article on the British Medical Journal’s findings on UPF.
Writing in the BMJ, they concluded: “Overall, direct associations were found between exposure to ultra-processed foods and 32 health parameters spanning mortality, cancer, and mental, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and metabolic health outcomes.”

This is the book I was recommended you can get it to listen to for free if you have Spotify premium or buy on amazon here

‘Processes and ingredients used to manufacture ultra-processed foods are designed to create highly profitable (low-cost ingredients, long shelf life, emphatic branding) convenient (ready-to-consume) hyperpalatable products liable to displace freshly prepared dishes and meals made from all other NOVA food groups.’*

* From Ultra processed people book

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