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Highly Processed Foods Promote Disease – Healing Practice



High consumption of processed foods is harmful to health

Highly processed foods are increasingly replacing the nutrition of natural foods and freshly prepared meals in many regions. However, a high consumption of these foods can have an extremely negative effect on the Health impact and many dangerous diseases foster.

The consumption of industrially produced foods, which contain large amounts of salt, sugar and additives, is increasing in many countries. This is concerning because a high consumption of highly processed products can promote obesity and various chronic diseases such as diabetes, dementia and cardiovascular disease, reports the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE).

Lots of additives, but few vitamins, fibers and minerals

As the BZfE writes in a press release, the food quality previously evaluated mainly on the basis of dietary habits or the amount of certain nutrients. In the meantime, however, the degree of food processing becomes increasingly important.

In scientific studies, the so-called NOVA ranking (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); PDF), which divides foods and beverages into groups with different degrees of processing.

The advantages of ultra-processed foods are that they have a long shelf life, are convenient, easily accessible and affordable. They are usually offered packaged and have a long shelf life ingredient list.

As a rule, products contain a lot additivesenergy (calories), table salt, saturated fats and sugars, but low in fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Examples of often highly processed products include soft drinks, sweet and savory snacks, ice cream, candies, cookies, margarine, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, sausages, instant soups, but also include herbal substitutes for meat, milk, yoghurt and cheese.

impaired health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) growing evidence that industrially produced foods with a high degree of processing can harm health.

High consumption is associated with many chronic and sometimes fatal diseases. A study has shown that these foods can promote cancer and heart disease.

They are also associated with an increased risk of dementia and are associated with gastrointestinal diseases, type 2 diabetes, depression and obesity.

Negative effects not only due to lower nutritional value

Often the negative effects are mostly minor nutritional value revenue. But this is only one aspect. For example, the high degree of treatment can favor the formation of potentially toxic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, trans fatty acids or acrylamide.

It is also possible that over time pollutants from packaging, such as phthalates and bisphenols, are transferred to food, writes a French research group in the specialist journal “The Lancet – Gastroenterology and Hepatology“.

Another point is that the high consumption of additives like emulsifiers and artificial sweeteners would promote inflammation in the body. It could play into this gut microbiota an important role. Diet changes the composition and activity of the bacterial community in our gut.

This is how a high consumption of highly processed products could do this immune system thereby disrupting and promoting chronic inflammation and associated health disorders in the body. Here, research is still in its infancy. Future studies should clarify the underlying biological mechanisms.

Limit consumption of highly processed foods

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recommends consuming highly processed foods limit.

The following rule always applies: the less processed, fresh and natural a food is, the better it is for the body. So pay attention to that label and avoid products with many additives and high levels of salt, fat and sugar.

Although a plant-based diet has many health benefits, vegan does not automatically mean healthy. If you want to follow a purely vegetable diet, you must stop consuming industrial foods. replacement products limit and prefer to use unprocessed plant foods as much as possible. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


  • Federal Center for Nutrition: Highly Processed Foods: Too Much Can Be Harmful to Health, (Accessed: September 27, 2022), Federal Nutrition Center
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Ultra-transformed foods, diet quality, and health using the NOVA classification system (PDF), (accessed on: September 27, 2022), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • World Health Organization: Plant-based diets and their impact on health, sustainability and the environment: a review of the evidence: WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, (accessed on: September 27, 2022), World Health Organization
  • Bernard Srour, Melissa C Kordahi, Erica Bonazzi, Mélanie Deschasaux-Tanguy, Mathilde Touvier, Benoit Chassaing: Ultra-processed foods and human health: from epidemiological evidence to mechanistic insights; in: The Lancet – Gastroenterology & Hepatology, (published: 08.08.2022), The Lancet – Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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