Remember yesterday’s conversation about ultra-processed food fueling childhood obesity? Well, here’s another new study that should have everyone kicking that nasty habit, for good.
The BMJ recently published new research linking ultra-processed foods to a higher risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). And not by any small amount either…
Nearly double the risk
Researchers looked at detailed diet data from more than 116,000 adults aged 35 to 70 years from 21 different countries of varying income. They were all part of the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study (which I’ve talked about here a number of times before).
These subjects joined the study between the years 2003 and 2016. The average follow-up period lasted roughly ten years, with assessments every three years to look for new diagnoses of IBD (including Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis).
Ultimately, results showed that people who consumed five or more servings of ultra-processed food per day were 82 percent more likely to wind up with IBD than people who ate fewer than one serving per day.
And people who ate between one and four servings faced a 67 percent higher risk of IBD.
In this study, ultra-processed food included soda, sweetened and refined foods, salty snacks, ready-to-eat meals, and processed meat—all of which were linked to IBD risk, even after accounting for other factors.
On the other hand, white meat, red meat, dairy, starch, fruits, veggies, and legumes had no association to IBD at all—leading the researchers to conclude that it isn’t so much the food as it is the processing that makes the difference.
And, well… duh!
Fight inflammation with real food
We know that IBD is a lot more common in industrialized nations. So it only makes sense that dietary choices factor into that—and heavily processed food is one of the hallmarks of the Western diet.
Previous research has also shown that IBD sufferers are more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol imbalances than adults without it. (Yet another reason why heightened, chronic inflammation is such a saboteur to your health.)
Of course, as I always tell you, diet is one of the single most powerful weapons against inflammation. And the truth is, ultra-processed, Frankenfood really isn’t food at all.
So if you want to avoid IBD—or any other lethal inflammatory condition, whether it’s obesity, diabetes, or arthritis—a clean, whole-food plan like my A-List Diet will always be the first place to start.
This healthy diet is full of lean protein, fresh produce, nuts, dark chocolate, and more. And remember, those “cheat” days can still lead to disaster, as I reported in the May 2021 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“The ultimate price of ‘cheating’ on your diet”). Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one!
“Ultra-processed food linked to higher risk of IBD: Further studies needed to identify contributory factors in processed foods that might account for these associations.” Science Daily, 07/14/2021. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210714183430.htm)