Plant-Based Diet Trap: The Unexpected Health Dangers of Ultraprocessed Foods on CNN

Los Angeles, California – Plant-based diets have been touted as a way to improve health, live longer, and help the planet. However, experts warn that not all plant-based foods are created equal when it comes to overall health benefits. A recent study published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe found that ultraprocessed plant-based foods may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death.

Researchers analyzed data from over 118,000 participants in the UK Biobank study, linking their diets to the development of cardiovascular risk factors. The study revealed that consuming ultraprocessed plant-based foods could raise the risk of cardiovascular disease by 5% and increase the likelihood of premature death by 13%.

Moreover, replacing just 10% of plant-based ultraprocessed foods with fresh, frozen, or minimally processed plants was associated with a 7% decrease in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 13% reduction in the risk of dying from heart disease.

While plant-based diets are generally considered beneficial for health, the level of processing of these foods plays a crucial role. Researchers emphasized the importance of choosing unprocessed or minimally processed plant-based foods over ultraprocessed options to improve cardiovascular health outcomes.

The study highlighted that ultraprocessed plant-based foods often include additives and industrial contaminants that could contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. This, in turn, can worsen the risks associated with cardiovascular diseases and other health problems.

Experts suggest following well-balanced plant-based diets like the Mediterranean or DASH diets, which prioritize avoiding unhealthy foods such as sugary snacks, processed baked goods, and confectionery. The emphasis is on consuming fresh, whole foods to support cardiovascular health and overall well-being.

In conclusion, the study underlines the importance of being mindful of the processing levels of plant-based foods in one’s diet. By choosing fresh, minimally processed options over ultraprocessed alternatives, individuals can potentially reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and improve their overall health outcomes.