What Are Ultra-Processed Foods and Why They're Not Good For Us

What Are Ultra-Processed Foods and Why They're Not Good For Us

May 16, 2024

What are Ultra-Processed Foods and Why They’re Not Good for Us


Ultra-processed Food (UPF) is food that you wouldn’t be able to recreate in your own kitchen. If you don’t recognise some of the ingredients on the label, it’s likely to be an ultra-processed food. They are manufactured to be convenient and cheap and have a long shelf life. These foods are designed to be hyper-palatable, so you’re likely to want to eat more of them.

Typically, industrially produced UPFs contain additives such as artificial flavours, emulsifiers, colouring and sweeteners (which are often cheaper and less likely to go off than natural ingredients), as well as preservatives to increase their shelf life.  UPF’s are also processed in a way that removes fibre and some of the nutrients are lost as well.  The processing that occurs to create these foods makes them easily absorbed by the body. In fact, it’s almost as if the food is pre-digested, causing it to effortlessly run through your digestive system. 


The Negative Impact of UPF’s


  1. Nutrient Deficiency: UPF’s are typically low in essential nutrients. The processing removes fibre, vitamins, and minerals, leaving behind empty calories that do little to nourish the body.
  2. Increased Risk of Health Issues: Consuming a diet high in UPF’s is linked to various health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and digestive issues. The high levels of sugar and unhealthy fats contribute to these conditions.
  3. Addictive Nature: The combination of sugar, fat, and salt in UPF’s can be addictive, leading to overeating and poor dietary habits. These foods are designed to be hyper-palatable, making it hard to resist them.
  4. Negative Impact on Mental Health: Studies have shown that diets high in UPF’s can negatively affect mental health, contributing to issues like depression and anxiety.
  5. Bad for our Gut Health:  The low fibre content of UPF’s means our good gut bacteria don’t have anything to feed on which can alter the balance of the gut microbiome towards the less beneficial bacteria. Plus there’s evidence that UPF’s may increase inflammation leading to leaky gut.


Minimally Processed Foods: A Healthier Alternative


At Wholo Foods, we believe in the power of minimally processed whole foods. Our products retain their natural goodness and provide the nutrients your body needs without harmful additives.

  • Amazeballs: Our Amazeballs are made with simple, natural ingredients like nuts, seeds, coconut and dates for sweetness. Because we base our bliss balls on nuts it keeps the sugar (even natural sugars) low. So they won’t spike your blood glucose.
  • Vitality Wraps: These wraps are packed with veggies and seeds with no refined flour or starch, offering a nutritious and delicious alternative to heavily processed wraps or other bread.
  • Seeded Crackers: Made with a variety of seeds and almond flour, our Seeded Crackers are a wholesome snack that is very low in carbs, perfect for those looking to avoid ultra-processed options.
  • Popcorn: Our Popcorn is a light and tasty snack made from natural ingredients without artificial additives, as well as dairy, gluten and soy free, providing a healthier option for those who love to snack.


Avoiding too many UPF’s is crucial for maintaining a healthy diet. By choosing minimally processed products like those from Wholo Foods, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious foods that support your overall well-being and are convenient . Our commitment to natural ingredients ensures that you receive the best quality and taste, free from harmful additives. Embrace the benefits of minimally processed foods and make a positive change for your health today.

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