Ultra-Processed Foods Are Just as Addictive as Tobacco

Ultra-processed foods are part of the NOVA (classification by degree and purpose of food processing) food classification system A category of , the system is endorsed by global health agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and is used by many researchers around the world. The NOVA food classification system divides food into four major categories.

The first is unprocessed or minimally processed food, mainly referring to the edible parts of animals, plants, etc. that exist naturally in nature, and Unprocessed foods that have been dried, ground, boiled, pasteurized, refrigerated and frozen, such as water, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, grains, fresh or frozen meat, pasta made from corn and wheat, Nuts etc with no added sugar or salt.

The second category is processed food for cooking, which refers to food made from unprocessed or minimally processed food through industrial processing such as pressing, refining, centrifuging, etc. For cooking, such as sugar, salt, starch, animal oil, vegetable oil, honey, etc.

The third category is processed food, which refers to the addition of salt, sugar and other cooking ingredients to unprocessed or minimally processed food Condiments, and foods that are preserved by filling or bottling, such as canned fish, canned fruit, bottled or canned pickles, pickled or smoked fish or meat, etc.

The fourth category is ultra-processed food, which refers to convenient, ready-to-eat, delicious and delicious food that has undergone a series of complex industrial processes (such as hydrogenation and puffing) , such as beverages, candy, chocolate, cakes, ice cream, biscuits, heated instant food, etc.

Recently, experts from the United States issued a paper pointing out that according to existing scientific standards, ultra-processed foods, including foods containing refined carbohydrates and/or added fats, such as potato chips, candies, Biscuits, etc., like tobacco, are also addictive.

How to quit ultra-processed food

First, match your daily diet. It is best not to eat ultra-processed foods, especially processed meat products, candy, puffed foods, and fried foods. The daily diet should be based on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and high-fiber foods.

Second, try to cook at home, even if you eat alone, don’t feel troublesome. Use steaming methods as much as possible when cooking, while reducing oil, salt, and sugar, and replace high-fat or high-sodium artificial seasonings with lemon juice, garlic, and natural spices.

Third, change the choice of snacks. Choose wholesome, nutrient-dense foods for snacks, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, soy products, nuts, etc.

Fourth, learn to identify ultra-processed foods. If the ingredient list meets any of the following characteristics, it may be an ultra-processed food: products containing more than 5 ingredients may be ultra-processed; whether there is a series of things you don’t know; whether it contains sugar, fructose syrup, refined vegetable oil and other ingredients; Contains sodium benzoate, nitrates, sulfites, BHA, BHT and other preservatives.

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