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Processed food means the food item has been altered in some way or the other.
It may involve washing, peeling, cutting the food item or pasteurizing, freezing, adding oil, salt or sugar to increase the product’s shelf-life.
Processed foods include tinned vegetables, yogurt, cheese, etc.
Ultra-processed foods are ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat products manufactured industrially using multiple ingredients and additives.
Some examples include instant noodles, breakfast cereals, etc.
Now, many of these ultra-processed foods are believed to have negative health effects.
Firstly, ultra-processed foods are unhealthy for our digestive system as they are low in fiber.
Fiber promotes bowel movements and it is an important food source for beneficial bacteria in our large intestine.
Secondly, many of these foods are high in trans-fat, which increases the level of bad cholesterol.
Thirdly, high amounts of salt, sugar and chemical additives in these foods may increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, etc.