A new study is shedding light on how much of our diet is made up of processed food.
More than half of our daily calories come from processed food, according to the study and we’re eating more "fake" food than real food.
The study shows a distinction between different levels of processing and the different effects it has on our health. Ultra-processed foods are different in that they contain more chemicals, additives, trans fats and emulsifiers.
These are often used to imitate the taste, texture or other qualities of natural foods, or "to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product," lead study author Carlos Augusto Monteiro, a professor in the Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, told CBS This Morning.
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To determine if the food you’re interested in falls under the "fake" food or "real" food category, check the ingredient list. Simple is better, and if you don’t understand the ingredients, doctors say think about avoiding that product.
Alissa Rumsey, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told CBS This Morning that ultra-processed foods tend to provide a lot of calories with very few beneficial nutrients, and suggested trying to eat them no more than three to four times per week.