Could Your “Healthy” Powdered Protein Or Meal Replacement Shake Be Killing You?

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WASHINGTON, DC. (THECOUNT) — You may think you’re blending your way to better health and fitness with a powered additive, more commonly referred to as protein powder. But now, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, may have you rethinking your food choices, that is if you want to live a long life.

“Ultra-processed foods, such as ice cream and candies, can dramatically reduce the span of your lifetime. “Health” and “slimming” products such as powdered or “fortified” meal and dish substitutes, are also including along with other “major offenders,” such as hot dogs and burgers.

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The source of this food category is the NOVA food classification system — a tool for nutrition and public health research, policy and action that was used in the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. It categorizes foods according to the nature, extent and purpose of processing. Here’s a list of some common ultra-processed foods to avoid:

  • Carbonated drinks
    Sweet or savory packaged snacks
    Ice cream
    Candies (confectionery)
    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”
    Sausages
    Burgers
    Hot dogs
    Powdered and packaged “instant” soups, noodles and desserts

According to one NOVA’s reports, “the formulation and the ingredients of these products make them highly convenient (ready-to-consume), highly attractive (hyper-palatable), highly profitable (low cost ingredients), and — of great importance — highly competitive with foods that are naturally ready to consume and freshly prepared dishes and meals,” source.

Minimally processed foods retain most of their inherent nutritional and physical properties, and include washed and precut fruits and vegetables, bagged salads and roasted nuts. Those, along with foods processed to help preserve and enhance nutrients and freshness of foods at their peak — such as canned tuna, beans and tomatoes, as well as frozen fruits and vegetables — are healthful and offer important nutrients.

Other minimally processed foods — and therefore healthier — include sauces and dressings, as well as cereals, crackers, nut butters, yogurt and milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

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