In the position of specialists in the field of nutrition, there is a range of foods that should not be part of the daily diet due to the health risks it entails.
At the top of the list are those “quick and practical meals” which, when consumed regularly, increase the risk of developing certain pathologies, such as diabetes, cardiovascular and digestive diseases, obesity, food allergies, and may also be at the root of different types of cancer.
In practice, experts warn of processed products that lose their natural nutrients during the transformation process. In addition, ingredients are added during production. Salt, sugars, dyes, preservatives, emulsifiers and fats are just a few, so they should be ingested in a very punctual and dosed way, warn the same experts.
In short, they are foods that are easy to prepare, with chemical additives (which change the flavors, colors, texture, etc.) and whose period of consumption (the shelf life) is very long.
Within the universe of processed foods, there are several types and the most worrying from a health point of view are the ultra-processed products. These are based on processed substances extracted from whole foods, such as hydrogenated oils and fats, flours and starches, sugar variants and animal food remains. Its nutritional composition offers a large amount of energy, but also a high glycemic load (a high percentage of blood sugar). They are also poor in fiber – essential for proper bowel function, as well as increased satiety, eliminating toxins, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides – and nutrients, explain nutritionists.
In an interview with E-Konomista, Maria João Cunha advised consumers to always check the food label and not buy those with names they don’t know.
He also said to moderate the consumption of foods with high levels of fat, oils, salt, sugar and sucrose; be careful with aspartame, glucose, dextrose, sucrose, fructose, maltose or glucose syrup (all are forms of sugar) and also warned against foods with a lot of lipids, that is, fats, favoring products with low saturated fat.
The nutritionist also warned of the dangers inherent in products with more than 1.5g of salt per 100g, and so that the consumer always sees the expiration date, without forgetting the composition of the product, since the shorter the list of ingredients, the healthier the food.
Maria João Cunha also mentioned some ultra-processed products that should be avoided:
Fried and salted potatoes;
Sausages, chorizos and sausages;
Loaf of bread and some cereals;
Fruits in syrup or crystallized.
In the batch of those that can be ingested, but also with “account, weight and measure”, the same specialist recommends:
Frozen fruits and vegetables;
Salads or packaged vegetables;
Peanut butter, as long as it’s 100% peanuts;
Canned tuna or mackerel, preferably in water;
Sugar-free vegetable drinks.
Taking all these points into account, know that it is still possible to exchange some processed foods for healthier options:
Cereals sweetened by oats;
Loaf of bread for fresh bread;
Canned or frozen food;
Gums and sweets for chocolate with more than 70% cocoa;
Oven-baked sweet potato fries;
Sugar for organic honey, among others.
Making a list before going shopping also helps you make better choices, without forgetting that you shouldn’t go to the supermarket hungry, as this increases the “temptation” to buy high-calorie and unhealthy foods, experts point out.