ultra-processed foods

The Conversation returns with another awful story about the dangers of "ultra-processed" food. Here's a look at the science they ignored—again.
A recent Newsweek report on the toxicity of ultra-processed foods was based on a carefully performed study comparing the responses of 20 individuals to both unprocessed and ultra-processed foods. It is worthwhile, as citizen-scientists, to look at the study for ourselves. We cannot argue the dots but may disagree with how they connect.
One of our loyal readers brought a recent Newsweek cover story to our attention. It is titled, Americans Are Addicted to 'Ultra-Processed' Foods, and It's Killing Us. In addition to cherry-picking words to favor “natural” over “ultra-processed,” whatever that means, the article raises but does not resolve or necessarily clarify some crucial issues. Are our foods addictive, like fentanyl? What does processed and ultra-processed really mean to our health? What does “the science” reveal or not fully comprehend? It is time to take a deeper dive.
Processed food has changed our world, providing nutritious, tasty food to growing populations. Questions are being raised regarding the “healthfulness” of processed foods, with more and more studies searching for an answer. But first, can anyone tell you what "processed" means?
A small, but intriguing study suggests that ultra-processed designer foods are both calorie dense and eaten more quickly. That's a perfect combination for gaining weight.
Yet another food-cancer story is in the news. But folks, there's little "there" there. It's a correlational study, and the risks for several types of cancer don't increase much at all. This is a finding that should not keep you up at night.