Ultra-Processed Foods Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

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Ultra-Processed Foods Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

 

In the press last week headlines reported ‘ultra-processed foods linked to cancer’. The stories were the result of a French study of 105,000 people. It suggested that the more of these foods people ate, the greater their risk of cancer.

 

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that a poor diet has a negative impact on health. Whilst in the past we largely blamed genes for whether or not we got diseases like cancer, we’re now understanding that environmental factors, including diet, play a key role. As the saying goes ‘genes load the gun, environment pulls the trigger.’

 

WHAT ARE ULTRA PROCESSED FOODS?

The list of ultra-processed foods included those we might expect, things like cakes and sweets, crisps, processed meats and ready meals. But it also contained foods we might not necessarily think of as ultra-processed – like most shop bought bread, breakfast cereals and ‘fruit’ yoghurts.

 

I’ll start by saying this – the vast majority of us eat ultra-processed foods. I eat ultra-processed foods from time to time. If I lived a life never eating cake or chocolate I would most likely be miserable! In the world we live in, processed foods are almost impossible to avoid. In my experience, those who do avoid them completely often have tendency towards obsessive behaviours around food that are not healthy in themselves.

 

My belief is that education is the key. Whilst most of us know that eating a lot of cakes and crisps won’t benefit our health, there are a lot of foods such as breads and breakfast cereals that we may not consider to be ‘ultra processed’. Understanding what constitutes a healthy diet and making conscious decisions as a result is what’s important.

 

WHAT SHOULD WE EAT INSTEAD?

When I am discussing what a nutritious, balanced diet consists of, I spend much more time focusing on what we should be eating, rather than what to avoid. Fresh, natural, whole foods. Plenty of vegetables. Good fats. Natural proteins. I often see that when my clients gain a better understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet, the less healthy foods naturally phase out.

 

HOW DO I FIND OUT IF A FOOD IS ‘ULTRA PROCESSED’?

NOVA is the food classification that categorises foods according to the extent of food processing. If you’re interested to look up how the foods in your diet are categorised based on their levels of processing, here is the guide. I also liked this simple but effective visual guide comparing natural, processed and ultra-processed versions of the same food by my lovely editor at The Sun, Christina.

 

IN SUMMARY

The occasional bag of crisps or a chocolate bar as a treat can form part of a healthy diet for most people. That, in itself, is highly unlikely to give you cancer. However, relying on a diet based primarily on highly processed foods won’t do your health any favours at all. No great surprise there, really!

 

Healthy eating can be confusing. It can be difficult to differentiate between truly healthy foods and those that manufacturer’s marketing departments are trying to convince us are healthy. I spend a lot of my time working with clients to help them understand what is a healthy diet for them and making that fit into their every day lifestyle. If you feel you might benefit from some support in this area, please do get in touch.

 



AILSA HICHENS

 

Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.

 

Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.

 

Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.

 

To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

NIKKI ANDRIANI

 

Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.

 

Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.

 

A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

STÉPHANIE ACHAR

Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.

 

Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

 

To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.

INNA WEARN

Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.

 

Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.

 

Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!

 

To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.

ANIA MASON

 

Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.

 

After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.

 

Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 

 

To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.