Lesson 4 of 19
In Progress

→ Exercise 1B: Examine your own processed and ultraprocessed food.

Marjorie June 3, 2020

Visit your personal reflections page (Notion, or other).

Choose a time period, and write down what you have eaten.

Can you come up with an approximate percentage of calories in your diet that is processed or ultra-processed ? (Almost nobody can do this with high accuracy, so don’t worry about that. This is just to get a sense.)

Processed foods and processed culinary ingredients – per journal article on Ultra-processed foods and added sugars in the US diet

Animal Fats • Baking poweder and baking soda • Beer and Wine • Cheese • Cream (from coconuts or cow milk) • Ham and other salted, smoked or canned meat or fish • Peanut, sesame, cashew and almond butter or spread • Plant oils •  Salted or sugared nuts and seeds • Table sugar • Unsweetened baking chocolate, cocoa powder and gelatin powder • Vegetables and other plant foods preserved in brine • Vinegar

Ultraprocessed foods – per journal article on Ultra-processed foods and added sugars in the US diet

Baby Food and Baby formula • Breads • Breakfast cereals • Cakes, cookies and pies • Desserts • Dips, spreads, mustard and catsup • Distilled alcoholic drinks • French fries and other potato products • Frozen and shelf-stable plate meals • Fruit drinks • Ice cream and ice pops • Instant and canned soups • Margarine • Meatless patties and fish sticks • Milk-based drinks • Pizza (ready-to-eat/heat) • Reconstituted meat or fish products • Salty snacks • Sandwiches and hamburgers on bun (ready-to-eat/heat) • Sauces, dressings and gravies • Soft drinks, carbonated • Sugar substitutes • Sweet snacks • Sweeteners and all syrups (excluding 100% maple syrup)


A note that the British Medical Journal article actually found that 0.7% of the U.S. diet comes from non-root vegetables. The 2% figure in the talk (for vegetables excluding potatoes) came from the reference on available food. In any case, most people have a long way to go to add more vegetables and other unprocessed food to their diet. (Is that true for you?)


Ultra-processed foods and added sugars in the US diet: evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study.

U.S. food supply: Nutrients contributed from vegetables, per capita per day

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