Covid-19

How Ultra-Processed Foods Can Make You Vulnerable To Coronavirus

Ultra-processed foods are everywhere. They can be easily bought from physical stores and online shops, and people do not have a problem doing this because the U.S. food supply is dominated by this type of food that’s high in saturated fat, salt and sugar.

For the uninitiated, ultra-processed foods are foods that have gone through multiple processes like molding, extrusion and milling. They also typically contain multiple ingredients that have undergone multiple processes as well. The best examples of ultra-processed foods are hotdogs, candy, soft drinks, breakfast cereals, chicken nuggets and chips, as per the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

And during this difficult time when the novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc everywhere, people who like to indulge in ultra-processed foods were found to be more vulnerable than those who like to eat healthy foods. Experts are even saying that consumption of ultra-processed foods might be a risk factor for contracting COVID-19.

Many studies have already established that ultra-processed foods can increase the risk of developing certain conditions like obesity, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, gallstones and cardiovascular diseases. The coronavirus targets people who have low immunity, and so people with any of the aforesaid conditions are at a higher risk.

ZME Science reported that ultra-processed foods all over the world are generally unhealthy, but the ones available in the U.S. are actually worse. This is because American manufacturers usually process their products with higher sugar and sodium content. This explains why the average American diet is considered unhealthy nowadays.

Apart from increasing the chances of having certain conditions, ultra-processed foods have also been found to compromise the gut microbiome, which plays an important role in the body’s ability to stimulate an immune response against infections. Prior the pandemic, the consumption of ultra-processed foods was already considered a bad idea. And now that the pandemic is ongoing, doing so is all the more considered dangerous, according to Mercola.

Health experts have been campaigning for healthy eating amid the coronavirus lockdown. But this is a struggle for many people since ultra-processed foods are designed to be sensually appealing, habit-forming and hyperpalatable. In addition, they are also strategically marketed as foods of “convenience.”

With no coronavirus cure in sight, authorities are urging everyone to cut back on their consumption of ultra-processed foods. They recommend preparing home cooked meals with lots of vegetables so as to give the body the immunity boost it needs during the pandemic.

Junk Food A supermarket shelf at a Kings Food Market in Midland Park, New Jersey filled mostly with Frito-Lay brands of chips. James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

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