To truly understand the impact of ultra-processed foods, we must first define what they are. Ultra-processed foods are products that undergo several industrial processes and contain additives such as flavors, colors, emulsifiers, and other substances. These foods are typically low in essential nutrients and high in unhealthy components like added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Things like sugar cereal, fast food, packaged snacks, and sodas. As Michael Pollan said, even "healthy" junk food is still junk food.
Numerous studies have shown a strong association between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and various health issues. A diet high in these foods is linked to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. The excessive amounts of added sugars, unhealthy fats, and sodium found in ultra-processed foods can lead to weight gain, increased blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels. Additionally, these foods are often low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, leaving our bodies lacking essential nutrients.
So why are whole foods important? Whole foods are minimally processed and retain their natural nutrients, providing us with the necessary fuel for optimal health. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and legumes are all examples of whole foods that should form the foundation of our meals. By choosing these nutrient-dense options, we can reduce our consumption of ultra-processed foods and improve our overall well-being. Patterbars are the perfect, convenient, delicious, and whole food snack. We check all the boxes. Tasty? Check! Whole foods? Check! Unprocessed ingredients? Check! Check us out!