Ultraprocessed Plant-Based Foods May Not Be Good for Your Heart

Our findings showed eating a plant-based diet can be beneficial, except when it is based on ultra-processed foods.

WeightControl.com:   What are the main findings?

Response: Our main finding is that a plant-based diet can improve your cardiovascular health, as long as it does not rely on ultra-processed foods.

WeightControl.com:    How can readers determine if a food product is ultraprocessed?  What ingredients should they be alert for?

Response: To determine if a food product is ultra-processed, readers should pay attention to its ingredients. Ultra-processed foods are typically industrial formulations that contain little or no whole foods. They often include added flavourings, colourings, and other additives to enhance taste and appearance.

Some foods that are clearly not ultra-processed include fresh vegetables, fruits, roots, pasteurized milk, and chilled meats, as these are unprocessed or minimally processed. Plant oils, sugar, and salt used in culinary preparations with these foods are also not considered ultra-processed; they are culinary ingredients.

Processed foods, on the other hand, are those where salt, oil, sugar, or other culinary ingredients are industrially added to unprocessed foods. Examples include vegetables preserved in brine, tinned fish in oil, freshly baked breads, and cheeses.

To identify whether a specific product is ultra-processed or not, it’s advisable to carefully read the ingredient list. If the ingredients are familiar and resemble what you would use in your own kitchen, the product is likely made from real food and not ultra-processed.

WeightControl.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Just emphasize that our findings showed eating a plant-based diet can be beneficial, except when it is based on ultra-processed foods.

It’s important not to conclude from our study that specific categories of foods directly cause cardiovascular health outcomes. Our research focused on analysing overall dietary patterns rather than attributing cardiovascular health solely to individual food categories.

Citation: ‘Implications of food ultra-processing on cardiovascular risk considering plant origin foods: an analysis of the UK Biobank cohort’ by Rauber, F., da Costa Louzada, ML., Chang, K., et al. is published in Lancet Regional Health – Europe. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2024.100948 

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Last Updated on June 17, 2024 by weightcontrol