Ultra-processed Foods Increase Cellular Aging

The consumption of ultra-processed foods is capable of increasing cellular aging. The low micronutrient inputs of these products and their high caloric density contribute to promoting oxidation processes. This can also lead to an increased risk of developing diseases in the medium and long term.

A healthy diet must be based on the consumption of fresh food. Vegetables, for example, have in their composition high amounts of phytochemicals that help fight against the appearance of free radicals. These micronutrients are also capable of reducing the damage suffered by cells over time.

Next we will show you why you should eliminate, or at least reduce, the consumption of ultra-processed foods in your daily diet.

Ultra-processed foods contain trans fatty acids

Lipids are necessary for the body. They participate in a multitude of physiological reactions. They are responsible, among other things, for hormonal homeostasis and for transporting and reserving fat-soluble vitamins.

However, there are different classes of lipids :

  • Mono and polyunsaturated: they are considered healthy and their consumption is promoted.
  • Saturated fats : when it comes to them, there is some controversy. More research is necessary to assign them an accurate cataloging.
  • Trans fats, present in ultra-processed foods: there is a uniform consensus regarding them. The intake of this type of lipids on a regular basis increases inflammatory processes and cellular aging, as stated in an article published in the journal Advances in Nutrition .
Eat trans fat

Acrylamide is present in ultra-processed foods

In addition to these lipids with anti-inflammatory capacity, ultra-processed foods contain other substances that are harmful to health. An example of them is acrylamide, a waste product obtained from subjecting starches to high temperatures.

This substance has the ability to accelerate cell damage and aging processes. Its regular intake is associated with an increased risk of developing complex diseases, such as cancer, according to an article published in the International Journal of Cancer .

For this reason, it is recommended to reduce the consumption of foods that may contain this type of substances in their composition. Both the ultra-processed ones, as well as the fried and battered ones are susceptible to presenting this toxic.

To avoid the formation of acrylamide, it is advisable to cook foods rich in starches at low temperatures. Cooking them in water is the best option when it comes to reducing their teratogenic activity.

Contraindicated foods

Its energy density is high

Ultra-processed foods are characterized by being rich in fat and sugar. This increases their energy density, while worsening markers associated with metabolic health.

This excessive consumption of sugars and trans fats is also capable of damaging the microbiota. There are alterations in its diversity, which causes problems in digestion and in the assimilation of nutrients.

For this reason, it is recommended to reduce the consumption of this class of products. Instead, it is advisable to prioritize the intake of fresh foods, such as fish and vegetables. It is essential to guarantee the contribution of dietary antioxidants to, in this way, help the body to combat the processes of aging.

Reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods

As we have said, ultra-processed foods are characterized by having a high caloric density and a low content of essential micronutrients. They are rich in simple sugars, substances related to poor metabolic health.

In addition, they contain trans fats, which cause inflammation and promote cellular aging. As if this were not enough, in its composition are waste products, such as acrylamide. These favor the appearance of cancer and increase the risk of developing complex diseases.

For this reason, it is recommended to restrict its intake. However, it is difficult to eliminate them completely, since they are too present in our routines. It could be enough to reduce its consumption, at the same time that we increase the supply of fresh food.

It is important to guarantee the supply of products from the plant kingdom, rich in antioxidants that are responsible for fighting against the formation of free radicals and against cellular aging.

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