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Ultraprocessed foods to avoid

A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed an alarming statistic: Eating a lot of unhealthy, ultraprocessed foods may shorten your life. Specifically, researchers found that a 10% increase in the consumption of ultraprocessed foods was significantly associated with a 14% higher risk of death from all causes.

Ultraprocessed foods are industrial formulations that typically contain five or more ingredients, and may contain, for example, hydrogenated oils, dyes or flavor enhancers that are not found in other processed foods.

Here's a list of some common ultraprocessed foods to limit or avoid:

  • Carbonated drinks

  • Hot dogs

  • Burgers

  • Sausages

  • Sweet or savory packaged snacks

  • Ice cream

  • Candies

  • Margarines and spreads

  • Cookies, pastries and cakes

  • Cereal bars

  • "Fruit"-flavored drinks

  • Cocoa drinks

  • Meat and chicken extracts

  • "Instant" sauces

  • "Health" and "slimming" products such as powdered or "fortified" meal and dish substitutes

  • Pre-made pies, pasta and pizza dishes

  • Poultry and fish "nuggets" and "sticks"

  • Powdered and packaged "instant" soups, noodles and desserts


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