Ultra-processed foods are foods that are “manufactured industrially from multiple ingredients that usually include additives used for technological or cosmetic purposes.” They are consumed in the form of snacks, desserts, or ready to eat or heat meals. The study examined the health and physical habits of 45,000 adults over a two-year period and they found a 14 percent higher risk of early death for each 10 percent increase in consumption of ultra- processed foods.
So, what about frozen foods makes it so unhealthy?
- Added Starch: Many frozen foods have added starch to keep the frozen foods tasting fresh. Starch is just extra glucose and all this extra sugar increases the risk of developing insulin resistance and eventually diabetes.
- Added Trans-fat: Frozen foods are usually full of trans-fat. Foods that have a lot of trans fat contribute to raising cholesterol and putting you at an increase risk of heart disease.
- Added Salt: Salt is a well-known preservative. Most frozen foods contain more salt than what you would add if you made the meal out of scratch for immediate consumption. This can increase your cholesterol and your blood pressure.
- Lots of preservatives: there are lots of other preservatives that are added to frozen foods to improve the texture and keep them tasting fresh. Many of these have not been well tested by the FDA and most manufacturers don’t need permission to use these preservatives.