The NOVA food classification system categorises foods into four groups - unprocessed or minimally processed foods, processed culinary ingredients, processed foods and ultra processed foods.
Ultra-processed foods are extracted from other foods and contain additives, flavourings and sweeteners to enhance the taste. Some of the examples of these are soda drinks, packaged foods, sauces and condiments and snacks. A recent research study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has observed a link between heart disease and consumption of ultra-processed foods. The study was conducted on 3033 adults without heart disease
and their dietary habits were recorded using a food questionnaire. The participants were observed for 13 years and their consumption of ultra-processed foods was
7.5 servings per day. It was found that eveiy additional serving consumed increased the risk of heart disease. blockage in the arteries and death by heart attack by 7 per cent. The study advises lowering the consumption of ultra-processed foods for better heart health.