Health experts warn about dangers of ultra-processed foods

Updated: Apr. 12, 2021 at 2:28 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - This may be a hard one to swallow, but it may make you stop and think. Health experts are warning you about the dangers of ultra-processed foods you’re putting into your body.

As the pandemic wears on, more chronic health conditions are popping up all over Baton Rouge.

“Because people can’t get out, they opt for food that’s easier to prepare,” said Dr. Antoine Keller, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Baton Rouge General.

Keller said the continuing consumption of ultra-processed foods is the root of the problem.

Those are things like breakfast cereals, soft drinks, bread, chips, candy, chicken nuggets, fries, and protein or granola bars that say they’re healthy.

“Every time you eat an ultra processed food as one of your meals, it increases your risk of developing coronary vascular disease,” said Keller.

He said each serving increases your risk of hypertension, obesity and many other chronic conditions.

Keller said to stick to unprocessed or minimally processed foods like vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, meats, seafood, herbs, spices, garlic, eggs and milk.

“What I usually try to tell my patients is that if they can behave every single day of the month, then on the one day of the month that they were born, then they can have a cheat day, and you can eat whatever you’d like,” said Keller.

That way, it feels like you have something to look forward to and doesn’t seem like you’re giving it all up cold turkey. He said to think about the switch as a lifestyle, not a diet.

It’s also a good idea to go online and find more information about specific foods but be careful about websites trying to sell you things. He recommends the American Heart Association’s website.

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