What the Hell Is Ultra-Processed Food?

4 min readMar 13

Why avoid it

Sugary cupcakes (credit photo Phrenssynnes)
Sugary cupcakes (credit photo Phrenssynnes)

Ultra-process food

Growing up, my mother was in charge of cooking for the family.

My father, who is a retired accountant, was never interested in nutrition. Except when his doctor diagnosed him with a cholesterol problem. Since then, he has developed the mentality that anything that tastes good is wrong for you.

Yet, when I ask him to enjoy a plain raspberry, he confirms that it is good.

Since it takes a little more to convince him, I did a little research. He doesn’t understand why breakfast in a fast food restaurant can be less nutritious. An egg is an egg after all!

A word from the doctor

My sister, a retired doctor, explained something important to me. In healing, the doctor must do his job, but the sick individual must also cooperate. When a patient has a health problem, those three conditions must be met to resolve it.

- The first is that the person must have the ability to take care of him or herself. For example, someone with Alzheimer’s does not.

- The second rule is that the patient must be able to resolve the condition. There are several reasons why this may be the case. For example, the medication the person needs is not available because of a backorder.

- And, third, the person must be willing to make the effort to get better.

You’d be surprised how many people fall into this category. Some refuse to go to a nutritionist because they don’t want to stop eating at a fast food restaurant. And let’s not forget those who want to keep eating sugar pie because it’s so good.

If you are in the third group, you may have already stopped reading this article!

Ultra-processed food and the WHO

The World Health Organization declared that red and processed meats were carcinogenic. The ham sandwich at lunch and a hamburger dinner at night were a big part of the standard menu of my time.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the harmful effect of ultra-processed foods. Studies help us understand why.


Optometrist by education | writer by passion | Francine Boilard blog about food, books, travel and ideas. https://phrenssynnes.ca