Both Beneficial And Harmful Effects of Reducing Or Increasing The Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods In The Diet

Last Updated: 10 Feb 2023
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Ultra- Processed foods are something that has greatly developed over the years in America. These foods are what American diets mainly consist of now. The reason for this being that ultra-processed foods are convenient, inexpensive, and have a longer shelf life. However, these ultra-processed foods are increasing an individual’s calorie intake, thus, causing weight gain. This is a potential explanation as to why many Americans struggle with obesity. Although unprocessed foods and diets are more expensive and oftentimes inconvenient, they are the better choice and the secret to avoiding obesity. What many individuals fail to realize is that all of these diverse healthy diets such as vegan or keto share a common key factor which is to reframe from consuming ultra-processed foods.

Similarly, there is an abundance of other stipulations on what negative effects ultra-processed foods have on the body. Yet, there was never information provided on a randomized controlled study that portrayed both beneficial and harmful effects of reducing or increasing the intake of ultra-processed foods in a diet. Hence a study done by Hall et. al. did exactly that. They conducted a randomized controlled study that demonstrated the effects of ultra-processed diets versus unprocessed diets on the individual’s energy intake. The whole purpose was to observe if the ultra-processed diets helped cause excess energy intake and weight gain. In this trial, 20 adults were admitted into a clinic where they were held for 28 days. During these 28 days, subjects were randomly assigned to the ultra-processed diet or the unprocessed diet for two weeks. Immediately after the first two weeks, they would follow the alternative diet for another two weeks.

Everyone had access to three meals a day, were not constrained to how much food could be consumed and had up to 60 minutes to eat their meal. Additionally, the meals from both diets were matched up nutritionally, only differing in the percentage of calories obtained from the ultra-processed versus unprocessed foods. To avoid and prevent any problems or washout periods between switching diets, the participant's levels were compared in the last week of each diet period. Furthermore, the study was intended for the American population in general, specifically those individuals on diets, trying to lose weight, or looking to eat healthier. The structure of the article contributes to helping the reader understand the research and data collected because of the mere fact that every aspect of the study was written in clear concise specific detail.

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In other words, it was very fluent. It is written in an organized way that stated the background information, why it was being done, who was in involved, how long it lasted, what went on during the study, results, what the results meant, compared the results, limitations, and what the overall conclusion was. All the information listed in sections contributed to allowing the article to be easy to follow along and understandable. Overall, the study found a variety of different factors that contribute and explain the variety of effects on both ultra-processed and unprocessed foods. One of the main findings found in the study was that the adults, in fact, gained weight and increased body fat mass on the ultra-processed diet and lost weight and body fat mass on the unprocessed diet.

These findings suggested that eliminating ultra-processed foods from an individual’s diet allows for their energy intake to decrease and helps lose weight. This, therefore, indicates that unprocessed foods and diets are a highly effective technique for preventing obesity and other harmful effects. If this piece of advice is offered worldwide to individuals on these healthy diets and not on these healthy diets, then obesity could be prevented and treated. One of the only downfalls to unprocessed diets is that everyone needs to be fully aware of the fact that it is costly and very much time consuming as it can take a while to prepare meals.

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Both Beneficial And Harmful Effects of Reducing Or Increasing The Consumption of Ultra-Processed Foods In The Diet. (2023, Feb 10). Retrieved from

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