Ultra Processed Food
Consuming ultra-processed foods can increase the risk of developing diabetes. These foods have undergone significant changes from their natural state and are typically high in salt, sugar, fat, additives, preservatives, and artificial colours. Such foods include candy, soft drinks, pizza, and chips, which lack essential nutrients. On the other hand, unprocessed or minimally processed foods such as vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, and meats offer nutritional benefits. Processed foods like simple bread, cheese, tofu, or canned goods have undergone some alterations but are generally not harmful to health. However, ultra-processed foods undergo extensive processes and contain numerous additives. Such foods include soft drinks, chips, chocolate, candy, and more.
A recent study in France involving over 100,000 participants found a direct link between high consumption of ultra-processed foods and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, irrespective of other risk factors such as weight and diet quality. The study revealed that those who consumed more ultra-processed foods had a significantly higher risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, for every 10% increase in these foods in the diet, the risk of developing diabetes increased by 15%. Moreover, various physical and chemical processes in producing ultra-processed foods can create harmful substances like acrylamide linked to insulin resistance. These foods often contain uncommon culinary ingredients and cosmetic additives that may have adverse cardio-metabolic effects.
In summary, it is important to limit the intake of ultra-processed foods and focus on a diet rich in minimally processed and unprocessed foods to reduce the risk of diabetes and related health issues.
Reference for further reading: High-Fibre Diet Tied to Lower CV Roach in Diabetes, Hypertension (JAMA, Internal Medicine involved, 104,707 NutriNet Santé survey in France)
MD, FRCP, D.Litt.
Chief-Diabetologist, KLES PKH
MD&CE-KLE Cancer Hospital