DEADLY “foods” (yet Americans LOVE them)

I have yet another bone to pick with ultra-processed foods (UPFs).

Let’s face it, I have no choice but to rail against these as they make up close to 75 percent of the entire U.S. food supply—and around 60 percent of Americans’ daily caloric intake.

Not to mention, research links UPFs to many health dangers—cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, depression, anxiety…

They even meet the same criteria as tobacco for addiction, leading to a potential lack of dietary control.

When will enough be enough? WHY are they STILL available for purchase—especially without warning labels?

Useless and dangerous

The ingredients in UPFs add little-to-no nutritional value.

In other words, they’re empty calories. Their primary function is to boost the product’s shelf life and taste.

And get this…

One of the most commonly used additives in UPFs—aspartame—is now classified as a likely carcinogen (meaning it could cause cancer). Yet, it’s STILL being used in countless products that line basically every grocery store’s shelves in America!

How does THAT make any sense at all?

Oh, wait… it’s because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t believe the World Health Organization (WHO). So, they continue stating the chemical is SAFE for human consumption. (Wonder which lobbyist succeeded there?)

Terrifying risks

If you’re not yet turned off by these products, consider this…

A recent report linked a higher intake of UPFs to poorer mental well-being, with respondents indicating increased levels of brain fog (confusion, slower thinking, unwanted or obsessive thoughts), irritability, and feelings of sadness.

Plus, other research linked high dietary intakes of UPFs to a 50 percent increased risk of developing depression. In fact, for every 10 percent increase in UPF consumption, the dementia risk jumped by 25 percent.

And, as I recently reported, artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, and artificially sweetened beverages plunged mental health the most!

Pretty bad, eh? But here’s what worries me even more…

Researchers at Florida State University in Tallahassee reported learning and memory impairment in two groups of male mice after giving them water mixed with aspartame for nearly 20 percent of their adult lives. (Yup, this was an animal study—as it would be ethically incorrect to do this type of study on humans—but it proves a very scary point.)

To analyze learning and memory, the mice completed a maze test. Compared to mice who only drank regular water, those consuming the aspartame water took longer and required assistance. Not only that, but the offspring of the aspartame groups demonstrated the same levels of impairment… even though they never directly ingested the stuff!

What does the FDA have to say to that? I mean, the amount of aspartame used in the study was just 15 percent of the FDA’s recommended maximum intake, which is equivalent to two to four eight-ounce cans of diet soda daily. And it was STILL enough to create epigenetic changes.

I hope you’ll at least think about that the next time you choose to consume these “foods.” They may be tasty… but remember, the more you eat them, the more you’ll crave them.

Instead, you’ll be surprised at how fun, delicious, and nutritious it is to consume (and cook with) fresh, whole ingredients. Don’t believe me?

Check out my very own cooking show, Cooking with Dr. Fred, on YouTube and Instagram. I also encourage you to grab a copy of my A-List Diet book, which focuses on a healthy, balanced diet full of lean protein, fresh produce, and more.


“Is It Time to Scrap Ultraprocessed Foods?” Medscape, 10/24/2023. (