According to a study conducted in Spain, a diet rich in ultra-processed foods and beverages increases the risk of colorectal cancer. The risk of prostate cancer has not increased, but breast cancer patients who smoke or have smoked have a higher risk.
Scientists from the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal) and other institutes published their findings in the journal Clinical Nutrition. The results came from the multi-case control study MCC-Spain and sent a validated questionnaire to nearly 8,000 adults, half of which were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, breast cancer or prostate cancer, and the other half served as a control group but no cancer was diagnosed.
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The questionnaire assessed how often participants consumed ultra-processed foods and beverages during the year. The team then used the Nova classification system, which divides food into four categories, from unprocessed foods to processed ingredients, to processed foods and ultra-processed foods and beverages. According to related reports from ISGlobal, examples of ultra-processed products include “sweetened sodas, ready-to-eat foods and mass-produced industrial baked goods.”
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The press release said: “Ultra-processed foods are the most processed foods. They are industrial formulations and contain more than five ingredients. They usually contain other substances such as sugar, fat, salt and additives.”
The research team finally found that “found that a 10% increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods and beverages is associated with an 11% increase in the risk of colorectal cancer.”
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The study author and ISGlobal researcher Dora Romaguera said that a low diet in fruits and vegetables lacked protection against colorectal cancer, and suggested that “potential carcinogenic additives and other substances commonly used in processed foods” contribute to the risk of cancer. . Common ultra-processed foods consumed by participants included sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar-sweetened products, ready-to-eat foods, and processed meats.
Romaguera said that for breast cancer patients who have a history of smoking or are currently smoking, smoking and a diet rich in ultra-processed foods increase the risk of cancer.
In view of the health risks associated with these sugary, processed foods and beverages, Pilar Amiano, a researcher at the Gipuzkoa Public Health Service, said that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (a research organization under the World Health Organization) should have included the research results in the research scope. Policies and discourage the consumption of these foods.