Ultra-processed foods, which account for more than half of an average American’s daily calories, are linked to lower measures of cardiovascular health, according to research conducted by scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The idea that high intakes of ultra-processed foods result in the development of cardiovascular diseases is hardly ‘rocket science’. Such foods are invariably low in vitamins, minerals, and other essential micronutrients. As Dr. Rath has shown, chronic deficiencies of these vital dietary substances are the primary cause of today’s most common chronic diseases. Not surprisingly, therefore, in addition to cardiovascular diseases, ultra-processed foods have also been linked to cancer.
Further emphasizing the dangers of ultra-processed foods, a study published in early 2019 linked their consumption to an early death. The researchers found that every 10 percent increase in the intake of foods such as white bread, packaged snacks, ready-to-heat meals, sugary cereals, confectionaries, fizzy drinks and potato chips was associated with a 14 percent higher risk of death within the following 7 years.
This illustrates why, as Dr. Rath describes in his Barletta Declaration, in the healthcare systems of the future the most effective medicines will be grown in our gardens, on cultivated land within our communities, and on the fields of our farms. Far from being ultra-processed, these foods will all be organically grown, free from pesticides and GMOs, and rich in vitamins. With the global health effects of intensive agricultural methods and ultra-processed foods becoming increasingly apparent, the time to implement these much-needed changes is now.