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Rude Health News & Events

The latest news, research and events from the world of natural health

What are Ultra Processed Foods?

You may have noticed talk on UPFs (Ultra Processed Foods) in the media of late, with an emphasis on how to eat in a more natural and less processed way. What is scary is that these foods are not only bad for your health, but taste delicious and are addictive too, making it important to be aware of the risks and where they sit on shop shelves.

UPF foods are known to significantly raise the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, and the worse thing is that there are no health warnings to help you avoid them.

Ingredients to look out for on food labels include protein sources (hydrolysed proteins, soya protein isolate, casein, whey protein, mechanically separated meat); sugars (high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, maltodextrin); soluble or insoluble fibre; and modified oils. Additives include flavour enhancers, colours, emulsifiers, sweeteners, thickeners, and carbonating, foaming, gelling and glazing agents.

The worst UPFs are fizzy drinks; sweets and chocolate; ice-cream; biscuits, cakes and pastries; sausages and burgers; packaged pies and pizzas; and chicken nuggets. And less obvious UPFs include breakfast cereals, cereal bars, most bread and flavoured yogurts.

Minimally processed foods that are safe to eat include milk and plain yoghurt; fresh, frozen and dried fruit and vegetables; fresh meat and fish; grains and legumes; eggs; flour; nuts and seeds; herbs and spices; pasta and couscous.

When choosing vegan foods go for jackfruit, beans and tofu which are not UPF. Bad news for takeaway fans – many of these are likely to include UPFs.

One of the benefits of shopping at your local independent health store is that they specialise in selling delicious foods that will not pose any risk to your health.

Magnesium and stress

When your body feels under threat it releases certain hormones, and breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure increase. The entire body becomes tense to prepare to run or fight for your life. All of this is temporary, and the body returns to normal once the threat is gone. With stress, the curse of modern life, the body stays permanently in ‘alert mode’ which is extremely bad for your health.

The really bad news is that stress depletes levels of magnesium in the body, and it is needed for over 300 different enzyme processes including normal, healthy muscle and nerve function. Magnesium also plays a role in distributing calcium in the body. It makes sure that calcium reaches hard tissues like bones and teeth, where it is needed, but stays out of soft tissues like nerves and muscles.

According to an article published in the science journal, Nutrients, in November 2020, symptoms of magnesium deficiency and stress are quite similar, including fatigue, irritability, muscle tension and lack of energy.

The combination of stress, magnesium-depleted diets, and stimulant abuse like drinking lots of coffee and alcohol can mean that you should consider taking a magnesium supplement. If you decide to take a supplement you should make sure to choose a product that has proper bioavailability.

Dietwise you can increase your magnesium intake by eating more dark, leafy greens and nuts.

November events

MS READaTHON lasts the whole month. Thousands of readers young and old will take part in raising awareness and vital funds to support people living with MS in Ireland.

World Vegan Day
1 November

World Diabetes Day
14 November

Find more natural health events here...

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