Ultra processed

Remove the ultra processed from your life

If you want to manage your weight does it go without saying that processed foods need to be out of your diet? I don’t know, so much of our food is processed that the lines are now blurred between what is, what could be, what is surely not and what definitely isn’t falling into the processed food category.

But ultra-processed foods are shown in research to increase calorie intake and therefore they are an enabler to weight gain. Everyone will be nodding particularly those of you who are practitioners saying that this is surely already known but finally more research has been done to show this is actually the case.

Let’s be clear here, this latest research shows that you can be eating the same macro breakdown as a whole food natural homemade from scratch with ingredients you can identify meal, but the bad news is that the ultra-processed meal will leave you increasing your calories and increasing your weight. Even though in theory they are giving you the same level of protein, carbohydrate and fat levels.

Over the 2 week testing period it was shown that the people who ate the ultra processed foods increased their calorie intake over the whole foods group by 500 calories extra a day. That is a lot! Carbohydrates and fats were the main macronutrients affected, these were the ones the ultra-processed food group chose. The ultra-processed group gained weight for the 2 weeks they were part of the trial but as soon as they were changed to eating whole foods with the same level of macronutrients their weight dropped off again. The ultra-processed foods increased their appetite!

The thing that most diets have in common is that they remove the processed foods and have you make everything from scratch. I suggest if you are not already on a whole food natural diet then you move to one because it’s incredibly clear that these processed foods are not only increasing the obesity epidemic but are also increasing the chronic disease issues we are seeing. Processed foods are linked with hypertension, metabolic syndrome to name just a couple of health issues. But this shows that a calorie is not just a calorie, it’s clear other factors are at work when a weight change is so significant and so quick.

Let me be clear breakfast cereal is a processed food, that flavoured yoghurt with crispy bits is in effect a dessert, those breakfast muffins that the coffee shops sell are a cake. White bread is still one of the nations favourite foods for toast, but has been refined to an inch of its life and so becomes lower in nutrients than whole grain, diet drinks are not healthy and ironically are not helping your diet. no matter how the companies try to position them.

One of the previous newsletters outlined how if ultra-processed foods made up 40% or more in your diet then this would lead to an increase in health issues is more likely. A recent piece of research showed that if you had 4 or more servings of processed foods in your diet you increased your likelihood of earlier mortality by over 60% compared to 2 servings a day.

Food has become so bastardised that it’s hard to know what is right and what is wrong. So make it easy, whole natural foods that have 1 ingredient name on the packet. Quinoa is a bag of quinoa, oats are oats, rice is a bag of rice, an apple is exactly what it says it is, natural organic yoghurt is just yoghurt, salmon is just salmon.

Enjoy your food, enjoy how your body can feel on good food, only today a client said how amazing and energised they were feeling following the natural eating guidelines I had given them. They had put in the time and the effort to make their food from scratch and were gaining the benefit, and I was so pleased to hear the change from just eating natural foods.

Join me and dump the ultra processed!!


Poti JM, Braga B, Qin B. Ultra-processed food intake and obesity: what really matters for health—processing or nutrient content? Curr Obes Rep. 2017;6(4):420-431.

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