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Researchers from Loma Linda University say high consumption of ultra-processed foods and, in particular, high consumption of red meat can be important indicators of mortality. Their recently published study adds to the growing body of knowledge about how ultra-processed foods and red meat affect human health and longevity.

Compared to previous literature analyzing ultra-processed foods and animal products. health exposure, this study included one of the largest cohorts, with more than 77,000 participants. He also considered a diverse set of diets, including vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The results gave new insights into ultra-processed foods as a common denominator of mortality among vegetarians and non-vegetarians, says Gary Fraser, MBChB, Ph.D., study author and professor at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. and a school of public health.

“Our research addresses the question of what a can do vegetarian diet healthy or unhealthy, “says Fraser.” It seems that the proportion of ultra-processed foods in someone’s diet is actually more important in terms of mortality than the proportion of animal products they eat, with the exception of red meat. “

Fraser says research shows how you can be “a bad vegetarian or a good non-vegetarian” because it isolates health effects processed foods in the diet – whether vegetarian or not. The results showed that vegetarians who ate a lot of processed foods in their diet faced a similar proportional increase in mortality as non-vegetarians who ate a lot of processed foods in their diet.

The study “Ultra-processed eating and food consumption and mortality in an Adventist-2 health study, ”published in American Journal of Clinical Nutritionassesses mortality risks from two independent food factors:

  • the proportion of the diet consisting of ultra-processed foods as opposed to less processed foods; Examples of ultra-processed foods include soft drinks, some meat analogues and candy.
  • share in the diet of animal products (meat, eggs and dairy products) in contrast to plant products.

Seven LLU researchers collected data from an observational prospective cohort study in North America, collected from Seventh-day Adventist churches consisting of 77,437 women and men. Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire that included more than 200 foods to describe their diet. They also provided other information about themselves related to health and demographic information, including gender, race, geographic region, education, marital statusfrequency of tobacco and alcohol use, exercise, sleep, BMI and comorbidities with cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

The researchers then analyzed the health status of the participants and demographic information combined with data on their mortality provided by the National Mortality Index, over an average period of about seven and a half years. Next, the researchers used Fr. statistical model to help them consider each variable independently of others and analyze mortality for specific reasons.

They adjusted their statistical model to focus on the consumption of ultra-processed foods regardless of other factors such as animal consumption or age. However, Fraser and co-authors found that people who received half of their total calories from ultra-processed foods experienced a 14% increase in mortality compared with people who received only 12.5% ​​of the total calories from ultra-processed foods.

The study’s authors report that high levels of consumption of ultra-processed foods have been linked to mortality from respiratory, neurological and renal diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (even if restricted to people who have never smoked). However, high consumption of ultra-processed foods was not associated with mortality from Cardiovascular diseasecancer or endocrine diseases.

The results found no association between mortality and dietary consumption of common animal products. However, after the researchers dissected animal products into subcategories, they found a statistically significant 8% increase in mortality risk associated with moderate (approximately 1 ½ ounce per day) consumption of red meat compared to no red meat.

Overall, Fraser says the study showed how greater consumption of ultra-processed foods was due to higher mortality from all causes, even in the Adventist population, which cares about their health, and many vegetarians. Such conclusions are ultra-processed food consumption and mortality provide “useful evidence of what people expected,” he says.

The study requires further research into the specific health effects of ultra-processed foods. Although research continues to deepen our understanding of how ultra-processed foods affect our health, Fraser advises avoiding consuming them at high levels.

“If you are interested in living longer or realizing your full potential, you would be wise to avoid a diet filled with ultra-processed foods and replace them with less processed or unprocessed foods, ”says Fraser.“ At the same time, avoid eating large amounts of red meat. It’s that simple. ”

Ultra-processed foods break your heart

Additional information:
Michael J. Orlich et al., Ultraprocessed Food Consumption and Animal Food Consumption and Mortality in Adventist Health Research-2, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2022). DOI: 10.1093 / ajcn / nqac043

Provided by the Adventist Center for Medical Sciences at Loma Linda University

Citation: The study links higher mortality to the consumption of large amounts of ultra-processed red meat products (2022, May 19), obtained on May 19, 2022 from ultra -processed.html

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