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Top harmful foods from Italian scientists

Victor LitvinenkoNews
Top harmful foods from Italian scientists

UPF products are life-threatening in diabetes

Choosing natural, unprocessed foods if you have type 2 diabetes can add 10 more years to your life, Italian scientists say. A recent study involving diabetes patients showed that those who consumed ultra-processed UPF foods and beverages died 10 years earlier compared to those who followed a more balanced diet. This data once again confirms the beneficial properties of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet for diabetics," the researchers say.

The dangers of processed foods

The Moli-sani study was conducted by scientists at the Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care in Pazzilli for 10 years. They observed elderly people with type 2 diabetes, conditionally dividing them by dietary preferences.

Scientists found that patients who ate processed foods had a 64% increased risk of death. They also had a 2.5 times higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Participants who followed a healthy diet, including the Mediterranean and DASH diets, which include more nutritious and natural foods, lived longer than their peers, even those who were older.

The results of the of the study were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Scientists once again reminded of the importance of diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes:

"Patients with type 2 diabetes should eat only nutrient-balanced foods that are a source of fiber and healthy fats.

Give preference to the Mediterranean and DASH diets, as they are rich in unprocessed foods: whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables," the researchers noted.

Is limiting UPF products a step toward longevity?

The researchers suggest that in addition to following a diet with nutritional recommendations for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, patients should limit their consumption of ultra-processed UPF foods.

"This is important not only for people with diabetes. The labels on the front of the package should contain information about the level of processing of the products," said Giovanni de Gaetano, MD.

In the study, the researchers divided food and beverages into four groups according to the increasing degree of processing based on the Nova food classification system:

  • Group 1: Fresh or minimally processed foods and beverages: fruits, vegetables, fresh meat and fish, milk.
  • Group 2: Processed cooking ingredients: oils, butter.
  • Group 3: Processed foods and beverages: canned fish, bread, juices.
  • Group 4: UPF: carbonated beverages, processed meat, packaged sweet or salty snacks, margarine, and foods and beverages with artificial sweeteners.

UPF products contain a lot of sugar, fat, and salt. Due to additional processing, they may also contain modified starch, hydrolyzed oils and proteins, dyes, flavors, and emulsifiers.

Top harmful foods

Although the researchers claim that they need more research to better understand which components of UPF are harmful and which are related to the body's biological mechanisms, they have identified the most dangerous.

The Italian scientists noted that consumption of fruit drinks, sugary sodas, salty biscuits, broth cubes, and margarine was associated with higher mortality rates, including from cardiovascular disease.

The researchers acknowledge that the study was observational, meaning it only included observations of patients in their natural environment. Therefore, it is difficult for scientists to determine the cause and effect of the processes that occurred with patients. However, even such scientific observations remind us once again that we are what we eat.

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