I’ve heard recently that ultraprocessed foods are not good for you. Not too much sugar and no seed oils like rape seed, cannola and vegetable oil. I started thinking about Plenny Shake. It’s pretty ultra processed and there’s sugar in it. I can read the labels obviously but that doesn’t say anything to me. I’m not a biologist or nutrition expert.
Almost everything is denaturated and highly processed. You shouldn’t worry too much in my opinion. There is nothing natural about the way we live, people weren’t built to get to 120 years old. Of course most people get cancer or another kind of degenerative disease getting older generation after generation.
As a german we never had a more healthy and diverse nutrition than today, my grandma ate margarine made out of coal fat. She is as old as Harrison Ford and not as fit and healthy as him, but that’s not because of the malnutrition in her post war childhood. She eats lots and lots of sausage, meat and cheese. The most highly processed food imaginable.
But I think it’s not about the procession, it’s about the food itself. Pointing at the possible downsides of high processed food is gas lighting us, our attention is actively shifted away from the real topics. Without processment you couldn’t get any nutrition out of many things and they would be even harmful. Most plants have evolutionary created chemical warfare, sometimes that’s what tastes great, sometimes you get stomache cramps. Try to eat a cactus unprocessed, try to eat a unprocessed, uncooked rib eye steak. (You should read the books on our digestive evolution by Wrangham.)
It’s important to differentiate between unhealthy ultra-processed foods and those that are processed to provide convenience and balanced nutrition. Plenny Shake is designed to offer complete nutrition with a focus on health and sustainability. While it does contain some sugar, it’s kept to a very low level.
As for seed oils, Plenny Shake uses rapeseed oil, which is a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are essential nutrients that contribute to overall health.
The ingredients in Plenny Shake are carefully selected to provide a well-rounded, nutritious meal, and it’s developed with input from dietitians and food scientists to ensure that it meets nutritional needs.
We also wrote an article on processed foods by the way:
I think the terms “healthy” and “unhealthy” are not helpful here - there is no consensus on their exact definition. There are aspects of nutrition that we know, and those that we don’t know. And most is still unknown. Also with regard on the effect of nutrition types on the microbiome.
We have to rely on what we know. And here the relevant aspects are macrosplit, micronutrient concentrations and the total amount of calories. With regard to satiety maybe also the fibre content.
For “non-natural” foods these things are known in much more detail than for “natural” products. So planning and designing your nutritional profile is easier with the former.