ICMR classifies bread, butter and cooking oil as ultra-processed foods: Full report

Think of a simple and easy breakfast option and the first thing that comes to mind is bread and butter. But, what if you are told that both these foods are ultra-processed and cause major health problems like obesity, stroke and diabetes?

Yes, you read it right. According to the latest dietary guidelines for Indians issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), bread, butter, cooking oil and healthy drinks made from milk are all processed foods and can lead to major health problems.
What is ultra-processed food?Ultra-processed food refers to food products that have been significantly altered from their original form through various industrial processes. These foods typically contain many ingredients that are not commonly used in home cooking, such as artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers, and additives designed to enhance flavor, texture, and shelf life. Other Additives. Examples of ultra-processed foods include sugary beverages, packaged snacks, ready-to-eat meals, fast foods, and many types of breakfast cereals.

Features of ultra-processed foods
High levels of added sugar, fat, and salt: These ingredients are often added to enhance flavor and appeal, but they can contribute to a variety of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Also read: 56% of diseases in India are diet-related. ICMR warns against protein supplements

Low nutritional value: Despite being rich in calories, ultra-processed foods usually lack essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Extensive use of additives: These foods often contain synthetic ingredients that are not typically found in conventional or minimally processed foods.

Extremely tasty and convenient: These are designed to be easy to consume and highly attractive, which can lead to overconsumption.

Also read: ICMR diet chart for women who do not exercise regularly

List of foods classified as ultra-processed
According to ICMR, Group C foods include commercially produced breads, breakfast cereals, cakes, chips, biscuits, fries, jams, sauces, mayonnaise, commercially produced ice creams, protein packed powders, peanut butter, soya chunks, tofu. , includes frozen foods. with additives, commercially produced cheese, butter, cheese with additives, meat, plant-based meat, refined flour of cereals, millets and legumes, energy drinks, health drinks mixed with milk, beverages and fruit juices .

Also read: Why has ICMR advised not to cook food in non-stick pans?

The group also includes many culinary ingredients such as cooking oils, refined sugars, salt and spices, as cosmetic food additives such as artificial colors and emulsifiers are often used in their processing.

What are the side effects of ultra-processed foods?
According to ICMR, ultra-processed foods have high fat content and are usually low in fiber and essential nutrients. It is said that these foods can cause obesity, lead to early aging and are linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and poor overall health.

Also read: All 17 dietary guidelines issued by ICRM for Indians

ICMR advises against excess consumption of “Level C” foods, meaning these foods are high in sugar and salt and/or have been subjected to extensive techniques that reduce the nutrients they contain, such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. Break down the elements. Such processes include highly refining flour, juicing fruits, exposing foods to high temperatures and pressures, and canning and preserving.

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