6 reasons why Ultra processed foods are bad

Ultra processed foods are bad, I know you won’t believe me immediately, and even part 1 of the ultra-processed foods series wasn’t enough to convince you how bad UPFs are.

But, this time, I came up with some reasons. I know it took me a while with this post, but good things takes time.

With this post, we will look further into what damages ultra-processed foods are capable of causing and why we should avoid them strictly. We will also look into ways to help us avoid them.

So, get your bowl of chips ready.

Ultra processed foods can cause Kidney diseases

In a study on 14000 individuals, it was found that UPFs cause CKD or Chronic kidney diseases in many participants.

It was also found that participants with consumption of Ultra-processed food had 24% higher chances of developing kidney diseases than those with no consumption of UPFs.

Additionally, with every serving, there was a 5% higher chance of developing CKD. In CKD, the kidney gradually stops working, and that leads to waste buildup. If this waste is not removed from the body, it can be lethal.

37 million people in the US have kidney disease, and 90% of them don’t even know about it.

A possible reason for CKD in participants was food with high sugar, salt, additives, and GMOs, and these all are found in abundance in UPFs. CKD is also related to high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. And, UPFs are one of the reasons for increased blood pressure (even in children) and diabetes, due to unchecked amounts of sodium, sugar, and chemicals.

Ultra processed foods can cause Heart diseases

Ultra processed foods contain a lot of additives and unknown chemicals. Many of these chemicals are also used in making plastics, and those same things are positioning us.

In a study, it was found that higher consumption of UPFs is directly linked to BMI, waist circumference, elevated levels of blood glucose, elevated blood pressure, higher levels of triglycerides and more. These all are linked to cardiovascular diseases.

Another study helped in finding that individual with higher intake of Ultra processed foods have shown higher risk of CVD mortality, than those with lower consumption of such foods. Higher sugar content is to be blamed for CVD mortality or premature cardiovascular deaths.

CVD mortality is also linked with Diabetes, hypertension, smoking, dietary choices, lack of exercise, obesity and more.

Ultra processed foods can cause Obesity

Diet rich in UPFs are associated with 79% increase on risk of obesity. Interestingly, 25-50% of energy intake of countries like Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, USA and European countries comes from ultra processed foods.

Studies have shown that UPFs increase risk of overweight, higher abdominal fat, and metabolic syndrome in adults. UPFs are further associated with adiposity. These further leads to hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart diseases, etc.

Ultra processed foods - effects on weight
PC- Cell metabolism

Poor quality diet and excessive intake is to be blamed for all this. Obesity is not only among adults but also a common factor in children. A study on 210 adolescents reported that there was a drastic increase in risk of blood lipid levels, cholesterol and risk of heart disease due to heavy consumption of UPFs.

Ultra processed foods can deteriorate brain health

Our brain gets energy from healthy carbs and that comes from fruits, veggies, whole grains, milk, rice, nuts, seeds, etc. Eating such diet supports brain health and also lower the risk of cognitive decline, dementia, depression, etc.

Similarly, vital vitamins like B, C, D, E and minerals like magnesium are essential for brain health and development. Healthy nutrients are essential for normal function of brain, however ultra processed foods contain no nutrients and are possibly giving nothing beneficial.

Additionally, consumption of UPFs have also shown negative effects on mental health. A study on 10359 adults shown that participants with the highest level of UPFs consumption reported mild depression, more mentally unhealthy and anxious days.

Ultra Processed foods and mental health
PC- Cambridge University press

Poor diet may lack essential nutrients, have high glycemic index, additional sugar, sodium and additives. These can dysregulate brain insulin, which affects mood, decreases neuronal levels of serotonin and dopamine and can also increase neuro inflammation.

Ultra processed foods can cause Digestive disorders

A lot of people have digestive issues. They go to doctors frequently. One of the thing that can be blamed is their eating habits. People have no restrictions when it comes to eating processed foods like sugary drinks, pizza, noodles, chips, processed meats, ice-creams etc.

Over 70% of packed food in the USA is classified as UPFs.

Consuming 1–4 servings of Ultra processed foods can lead to 67% increased risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which 5 or more servings per day lead to 82% increase. Such foods are low in fiber, high in sugar and salt, low anti oxidants are inflammatory to gut and may cause digestive disorders.

Ultra processed food can also create imbalance between good and bad gut bacteria, as it has numerous chemicals and preservatives.

Ultra processed foods and their effects on stomach

Gut microbiome plays important role like digesting fiber, controlling immune system, even affecting central nervous system, but wrong food choices kills those bacteria and that creates imbalance.

Ultra processed foods can even cause Cancer

UPFs are even capable of causing cancer. Such foods are found to have 10% increase in the risk of breast cancer. These foods are gone through several changes, foods are made, then broken, they remade with added chemicals into it. These have high quantity of trans fat, simple carbs (which are easy to digest), lower in nutritional density.

The process of making it may contain carcinogenic properties, then these are packed in certain way so that they remain “tasty” for long. However, we are eating plastic with this food.

Ultra processed food have shown 28% increased risk of colorectal cancer among men. However, no such risk were observed in women.

Additives used in such foods have sodium nitrite, which gives typical color and texture to the food. However, it also has carcinogenic properties (cancer causing).

How to stay away from these harmful effects

Best way to stay away from these effects is not eating Ultra processed foods. I know there are still some people who are not convinced even after reading this blog post.

But, you need healthy dietary choices for a good and healthy life. Our focus should be eating more colorful diet, which can give us all the essential nutrients. Instead of packed food we should focus more on home cooked meals.

People need to understand that no food can remain fresh for long, so when chips and cookies taste the same even after months of manufacturing, then they have additivities and chemicals to keep them fresh.

Furthermore, we should start reading the food label to get better idea of what we are actually eating. Reading a food label also tells us about how that particular product is made and what we are getting from it.

Nowadays, there are ready made masalas in Indian market, which I’m sure are available in other countries as well. Such things claim to be time saving (which they are doing), but these things are not fresh and are causing above mentioned things.

People who have time restrain often end up buying and consuming things which are easy to make or ready to eat. They are not wrong in their place, but still they are harming their health.

There are tons of options online, where one with limited time can cook healthy meal easily. Even those who don’t know how to cook, can do cooking with all the options available on market and online.

If I give example of India, then you can find chopped vegetables, or utensils that can cut/chop/peal vegetable/fruit easily. Then easy recipes as shared by many wonderful chefs makes cooking easy, fun and time saving.

I love this blog post by my favorite blogger, that tells how fun and innovative cooking can be. She points out how to make food tasty without making it unhealthy.

Please note: At no point in this blog post, I have supported any specific diet. I always prefer a home-cooked meal, but that doesn’t mean I’m promoting any specific food. This blog post is to make people aware and to encourage them to make healthy choices.



Ultra processed foods are bad, we have learned why. We don’t know how they are made, what are added to them and how they are effecting our health. But, we know we have to avoid them completely.

Our main focus should be eating fresh, clean and healthy. Anything that is packed with extended expiration date is not offering us any of that.

I won’t be saying to stop eating it immediately, if you are eating any of the processed food, I recommend you to get blood tested and see the cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, vitamins and minerals levels. Now for a week or more eat healthy and clean and see the results yourself.

There are more harmful effects of ultra processed food, let me know in the comments if you need part 3.

Until next time, don’t forget to smile.

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65 responses to “6 reasons why Ultra processed foods are bad”

  1. Great Post Devang. Its important that we all understand the impact on our health and fitness when we don’t make healthy food choices. You’re right, it seems too convenient to pop something in the oven or microwave after a hard/busy day at work. But with some advance planning, its possible to take the same amount of time preparing something better from scratch. I’m not always succeeding right now, but its what I’m working towards

  2. Reading up to cancer was so depressing 😔

    Then I loved the ‘How to stay away from these harmful effects’ ….
    Always take the prevention than risk of getting sick from UPF.
    And I love love fruits, veggies, rice, nuts, seeds, specially sunflower seeds ✨

    Thank you for this very informative post.

    Eat well. Be healthy …
    Smile, enjoy and be happy …
    I’m smiling 😊

  3. Ultra processed foods are bad, no matter what lies they try to tell you or add on their packaging. And I can say that from personal experience. Last year, I got diagnosed with a thyroid condition and was told I had to start taking medication for it as that was the only way. However, I decided to take the natural route and cut out processed foods among some other things and my thyroid literally went back to normal. I know I’m sick a lot these days but believe it or not this is the healthiest I’ve ever been.

    • I’m not fan of eating outside or anything

      I remember if by mistake I eat from outside. I have stomach trouble.
      We don’t know about the freshness and way of making. Such foods are just making us sick.

      I’m glad you changed your route and now much healthy about it.

      Your diet is wowsome. I see how you eat variety of veggies, spices and colors (from the food). Your diet is healthy.
      Which year you decided to become vegan? And how much time it took to see results to the body?

      • So true, if we eat outside especially often we ruin our bodies. They are not always hygienic and don’t use good quality products as we would at home.

        Thanks so much. I’ve always been vegetarian but I’ve been vegan for like 6 or 7 years now. I forget exactly how long lol because I began cutting out dairy earlier than that. It took a few weeks before I started seeing results and in about a month or two I felt like a different person.

      • That’s great!!
        It’s lovely how you got the option to become vegan, due to proper availability of the food.
        It’s a delight.
        Now you need to figure out why you are getting sick repeativly .

      • Yeah, luckily we have good options available and since my sister is a nutritionist I have good information available too.
        The reason is stress but that’s not changing so life goes on 🤷🏻‍♀️

      • Ahhh well

        I wish you start listening to her 😛

        She seems to be a lovely person, why you don’t listen to her

        And if there’s any problem, then you worrying about it won’t reduce it.
        So stop burdening it on yourself

  4. Coming back from China, I can’t get used to American food, my organism rebels causing me trouble. Here in the states you have to look for non GMO stuff and buy organic from tried and tested outlets. I wish I lived some place where you don’t have to worry about those things

  5. Thanks for this warning, Devang. I guess the biggest problem with ultra processed food is that it becomes something other than food. It may satisfy hunger but it does not nourish our bodies. Our bodies need fresh food.

    • Yes

      Our bodies need simple food
      Food that is actually healthy and is doing some good.

      People know that pizza or chips are not healthy for them, still they eat it, because it’s easy

  6. What wonderful and detailed information you have provided in this post, DU. Ultra processed foods are definitely very harmful but due to time constraints many people either get packed food that only requires heating in the microwave or order food online. I believe that cooking is an art and a basic surviving skill that should be learnt by everyone regardless of gender. Cooking at home is healthier and saves money. But planning and cooking takes time especially if you have kids or a large family to feed.

      • I do get time to cook because I wake up early. I cut all the vegetables for tomorrow’s lunch the night before. In the morning after praying and exercising, I cook lunch to take with me to the office which is also of sufficient quantity for my family to have during their lunch at home. Then after getting ready for the office, I cook breakfast, have breakfast, pack my lunch, and leave for the office. When I come back home, I eat a home cooked meal prepared by either my sister or mother. 😋
        In my family and my relatives, whether man or a woman, everyone knows cooking and are big foodies. But I am the only one who also loves exercising. 😀

  7. What a beautiful and informative article,
    I guess the biggest problem with ultra processed food is that
    it can satisfy our taste bud but not nourish our bodies.
    This is good initiative to warn the people about their consequences. of these type of food.
    Thanks for sharing.❤

  8. More people need to wake up and take a look at what they are trying to fuel their body with. Shop the farmer’s markets, the edges of the grocery store, and find ways to enjoy food as close to it’s natural form as possible. UPF’s are also created to be addictive, so your body craves more and more until you can break away. Wonderfully informative post, my friend! 💞💞💞

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