Ultra-processed foods are inexpensive, convenient and are now 61% of foods consumed by Americans. In a high-paced society, convenience foods often outweigh healthful options but can have long-lasting health consequences.
More about processed foods and its link to obesity and diabetes
Researchers studying the effects of ultra-processed foods on obesity studied 20 young adults with similar ages and weights who were given either a diet of ultra-processed foods or a diet of unprocessed foods over a period of 14 days. The researchers found that the group who ate the ultra-processed diet consumed more calories and gained weight compared with the group eating the unprocessed foods. The researchers identified ultra-processed foods such as foods with hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and processed snacks and desserts to be correlated with an increase in obesity. These findings suggest that limiting the amount of ultra-processed foods can reduce a person’s risk of obesity which, in turn, could decrease their risk factors for diabetes.
For the Latino population, reaching for convenient, ready-to-eat foods may not be the best choice. Latinos already have a higher risk of developing diabetes, and diet plays a significant role in reducing this risk. Latino families can educate themselves by reading nutrition labels and choosing fresh food over pre-packaged convenient items. By limiting ultra-processed foods and preventing obesity, Latinos can help reduce their risk of diabetes.
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