Research: Processed food tied to heart disease risk.

Research wordResearch word

Increase heart disease risk tied to processed food intake.

Processed Junk Food
Processed Junk Food

Scientists and medical professionals have long suspected that increased processed food intake is likely hazardous to your health. It just makes sense that if you remove parts of the natural healthy foods while processing them that it would result in less healthy foods, but the research has lagged. The good part is that the evidence is piling up to support limiting your intake of these Frankenfoods.

The research was from 2019 and it looked at processed foods and specifically, ultra-processed foods. Ultra-processed foods are a relatively new category of foods. Many experts suggest that is might make up to 50% of the calories we eat. These foods are hyper processed in grinding mills and enzymatically to remove parts that might make them less shelf stable or tasty to consumers. Because they are manipulated heavily, they have the vitamins, minerals, and fiber removed.

The new article was on studies performed in France​[1]​ and Spain​[2]​ and was published in the British Medical Journal. The studies encompassed 100K and 20K adult subjects each. The French portion found that each increase by 10% in these ultra-processed foods resulted in an increase by over 10% in risk for heart disease and stroke. The second portion in Spain confirmed the increased risk with a 62% increased mortality in those with more than 2 servings a day.

The bottom line: A diet high in ultra-processed foods is associated with elevated risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke, these resulting in higher mortality. I suggest that you eat less processed food and more of the unprocessed or minimally processed foods.


  1. [1]
    B. Srour et al., “Ultra-processed food intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: prospective cohort study (NutriNet-Santé),” BMJ, p. l1451, May 2019 [Online]. Available:
  2. [2]
    A. Rico-Campà et al., “Association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and all cause mortality: SUN prospective cohort study,” BMJ, p. l1949, May 2019 [Online]. Available:
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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