Home News HEALTH CRISIS LOOMS, OVER HALF OF BRITISH FOODS CAUSE STROKE

HEALTH CRISIS LOOMS, OVER HALF OF BRITISH FOODS CAUSE STROKE

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Experts have cautioned that over half of the British diet is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. They have highlighted that a study examining ultra-processed foods, which are rich in salt and sugar and commonly found in popular snacks, revealed a 24% elevation in cardiovascular risks.

This information emerges as the Mirror newspaper brings to light the scarcity of wholesome and fresh produce in economically disadvantaged areas. Henry Dimbleby, the founder of Leon, expressed his concern, stating, “This should serve as a wake-up call. If there are intrinsic dangers in the processing of food, then it’s a catastrophic situation. The prevalence of ultra-processed food in Britain is notably problematic. This sets the stage for forthcoming issues. Ignoring this could result in a substantial burden on the National Health Service.”

Ultra-processed foods constitute 60% of the average diet in the UK, with only the United States surpassing this consumption rate. This category encompasses a significant portion of supermarket products like bread, sandwiches, soups, and crisps, known for their elevated salt and sugar content. These foods often incorporate synthetic additives to enhance flavour and extend shelf life, including sweeteners, colorants, and fillers. While such additives are uncommon in homemade meals, they are cost-effective for mass-produced foods.

These ultra-processed foods generally lack the nutrients present in fresh items like fruits, vegetables, and homemade bread, as well as being low in fibre. Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, the medical director of the British Heart Foundation, pointed out that there is a growing apprehension about the correlation between ultra-processed foods and cardiovascular ailments. The exact role of artificial additives versus the high levels of salt, sugar, and fat in these foods in driving this connection remains uncertain.

Henry Dimbleby, who was appointed by the Conservative party to conduct an independent assessment of the food system, resigned in March after his numerous recommendations were not acted upon by government officials. Dimbleby emphasized, “We need a transformation in our cooking practices that involves consuming more freshly prepared food with an emphasis on vegetables and fibre. However, this is a challenging endeavour and requires a substantial cultural shift.”

The findings originated from an analysis of 10 studies involving 325,000 participants, which were presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Amsterdam. Another study focused on 10,000 middle-aged Australian women and exhibited a 39% heightened likelihood of developing high blood pressure among those who consumed more ultra-processed foods.

The Department of Health and Social Care responded, noting, “We have implemented regulations to restrict the placement and promotion of specific products in supermarkets to discourage unhealthy choices.”

Source: Mirror

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