SCIENCE

Is ultra-processed food unhealthy? Here’s why no one can agree

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Ultra-processed food is often high in fat, sugar and salt

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Nutrition advice is often fickle. In the 1990s, nutritionists blamed fats for rising obesity rates. Then, carbohydrates became the culprit in the early 2000s. Now, the refrain is to eat whole foods and avoid ultra-processed ones. Why can’t we get a straight answer on what we should be eating?

The trouble is that simply opting for foods with fewer and less-processed ingredients doesn’t guarantee a healthier diet. In fact, as a recent meeting of the American Society for Nutrition in Chicago demonstrates, studies on ultra-processed food (UPF)…



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