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Ultraprocessed Food and Heart Disease

Ultraprocessed foods lead to a higher risk of heart disease.

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Donut to represent ultraprocessed food

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed a 19% greater degree of risk for coronary artery disease in 13,548 adults ages 45–65 years when they consumed more servings per day of ultraprocessed food over an average of 27 years. The researchers observed a linear relation between ultraprocessed food intake and risk of poor heart health. This was even after adjusting for sociodemographic factors and health behaviors like exercise.

Ultraprocessed foods are items that have been highly manipulated with added sugars and fats or prepared in ways that make them ultra-unhealthy. Think deep-frying for making french fries. Alarmingly, consumption of ultraprocessed foods has increased over the past two decades across nearly all segments of the U.S. population, according to a separate NYU School of Global Public Health study.

See also: More Evidence That Ultraprocessed Foods Lead to Obesity and Diabetes

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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