How ultra-processed foods wreak havoc on your body

How ultra-processed foods wreak havoc on your body


Ultra-processed foods have become ubiquitous in modern diets. Many of us eat them regularly without understanding their potential impacts on our health. 

From hidden additives to addictive properties, these highly processed foods can pose risks. 

Navigating the complex world of ultra-processing can be challenging, and many people struggle to understand what to avoid, how to break unhealthy habits, and make positive changes to their health.

In today’s episode, Jonathan is joined by a special guest, Dr. Chris van Tulleken, to explore the science behind ultra-processed food.

Dr. Chris van Tulleken is an infectious diseases doctor at University College Hospital, in London, and one of the BBC’s leading science presenters. 

Chris shares the groundbreaking research from his own lived experiments, including the now famous study with his twin brother Xand. His book Ultra-Processed People is out now.

Jonathan and Chris are joined by ZOE regular Tim Spector. Drawing from their combined expertise, our guests provide practical tips and advice, empowering listeners to make informed choices and take control of their diets.

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00:31 Introduction

02:14 Quick Fire Questions

05:25 Start of Chris's journey in nutrition

06:47 Discordant twins - How can twin studies help us?

08:51 What part do genetics play in our differences in health?

12:52 What were the potential consequences of weight gain?

15:20 What is ultra processed food (UPF)?

16:54 What's the difference between processed and ultra processed food?

18:52 Is ultra processing purely about profit?

21:13 Examples of ultra processed foods (UPF)

23:13 ZOE UPF survey - How much does the ZOE community eat?

25:28 Are the products that say they're healthy lying to us?

26:12 Are certain ingredients hidden by UPF?

27:44 Is low fat yoghurt that good for us?

30:39 Is UPF just junk food?

32:56 Kevin Hall’s UPF study

34:19 What makes UPF addictive?

36:34 Chris' ultra processed food experiment

39:12 Could food manufacturers make healthier UPF?

41:23 How do we solve the issue of UPF as a society?

45:26 Practical advice for cutting down on UPF

51:37 Summary

55:15 Goodbyes

55:27 Outro

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Episode transcripts are available here.

Is there a nutrition topic you’d like us to cover? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to cover it. 

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