Ultra Processed Food- how much do you eat?

(256 Posts)
pigeonpies Tue 18-May-21 09:03:31

Reading an article about ultra processed foods (UPF) and the link to poor health. Not rocket science I suppose, we all know the risks. But today is for me thinking because a lot of food typically targeted at kids ( sugary cereals ex)

I want to change the way my family eat. AIBU to think this will be more difficult than I imagine?

I thought we were doing ok but then saw how much stuff in my kitchen is ultra professed!

In theory cooking from natural foods feels great but not always practical!

If you are already followed a low UPF way of living I'd like to hear the sort of things you eat!

Thanks smile

OP’s posts: |
pigeonpies Tue 18-May-21 09:04:52

Apologies for all the typos!

I'd love to hear what people eat and how they incorporate in to their busy lives

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyHoonMain Tue 18-May-21 09:06:00

What you mean my ultra processed food?

Cecillie Tue 18-May-21 09:08:16

If the same article, said anything made in factory and wrapped in plastic.
I cook from scratch but often use quorn mince as veggie in house, would quorn mince count as upf ?

Moonmelodies Tue 18-May-21 09:14:08

Quorn seems to involve more processing than corn flakes or rice Krispies, which are little more than corn (or rice), a little salt, sugar and a sprinkling of vitamins.

theotherfossilsister Tue 18-May-21 09:17:44

Please can you post a link to the article? I'm really interested in this. Thank you.

ElephantsNest Tue 18-May-21 09:19:07

Ok, I do this mainly. It’s a much nicer way to eat, but more time consuming and you have to be more organized. I gained a little weight because the food tastes nicer, oops!

Carbonated soft drinks: Replace with water, milk, iced tea, smoothies, or occasionally fruit juice. My friend bought a sofa stream and makes her own carbonated water mixed with fruit.

Replace Sweet, fatty or salty packaged snacks: trail mix, home made cheese straws, home made kale crisps, cooked chicken strips, veg sticks with hummus or other home made dips, cubed cheese.

Candies (confectionery). Dried fruit and nuts, toasted seeds, a small amount of high cocoa content chocolate, home made energy balls.

Mass-produced packaged breads, buns
Cookies, cakes. Replace with home made (yes the hassle of making means you eat less of them but they are more of a treat). wink

Margarine and other spreads. Use butter, oil and duck or goose fat for roasting potatoes.

Sweetened breakfast cereals. Mix your own museli and add your own sugar or honey, or make own granola, make porridge, own pancakes, etc. or have poached egg on toast instead.

Sweetened fruit yoghurt. Buy plain yoghurt and mix in fruit, honey, nuts of your choice.


pigeonpies Tue 18-May-21 09:35:49

Here is the link I started with and then kept googling and found many more!!


There is unprocessed which is totally fresh ( apple off a tree as an example)

Processed is any food that has been changed from its original state, but isn't necessarily 'bad' like tinned tuna)

Then ultra processed food which is heavily processed and contains many ingredients you've never heard of, or ones just used in factories. It's these that cause the most damage to your health. Things like ice cream, chocolate, pizza, but some other foods that aren't that obvious like tinned soup or beans.

OP’s posts: |
LuckyMcDucky Tue 18-May-21 09:41:04

Oh thanks for this and the link op.

My dcs eat white, crap bread. Probably a bit too often tbh. Also sausages. DS doesn't eat any other meat really, which is fine and he just eats veggie the rest of the time. But sometimes I do sausages for him. Naice ones from the butchers, but not sure that's any better tbh.

I'd also like to cut way down on this sort of thing. Need to discuss with DH who does a lot of the shopping.

cosmopolitanplease Tue 18-May-21 09:41:09

I eat a paleo diet for health so my food is minimally processed if at all. Paleo helps my MS symptoms and mobility massively, my joint aches have vanished and I've lost weight. I love eating this way but then I don't work, have young children or travel often, and I know this way of eating would be more difficult if I did. This is what I ate yesterday (I don't eat my first meal until about 1pm);

Tuna in olive oil, two soft boiled eggs, asparagus, avocado
A banana
Small bowl of pecans, pistachios, cashews, sultanas
Sirloin steak, home made mustard mayonnaise,mushrooms, assortment of veg cooked in air fryer; swede, sweet potato, parsnip, carrot
Couple of squares of 100% cocoa chocolate

I make meals like chilli, bolognese, curry, chicken in spicy tomato sauce, chasseur, eat roasts and all kinds of cuts of meat and fish with lots of vegetables, make delicious salads with chicken and walnuts or prawns for protein. I use coconut oil for cooking and olive oil for mayonnaise. I make stock from chicken carcasses and eat cheaper meats like liver or pork belly to economise. I drink black coffee, redbush tea or water.

KaleSlayer Tue 18-May-21 09:45:22

I try to eat healthily. I’m vegan so eat lots of fruit, veg, nuts, seeds etc.

I don’t eat chocolate, sweets, cake.

I have vegan pizza most weeks and maybe a ready meal once a week. And I use Diet Coke as a mixer for alcohol.

Hopefully pretty unprocessed overall. 😬

WineGetsMeThroughIt Tue 18-May-21 09:46:13

I try to stuck to foods with whole single ingredients a carrot is a carrot, a steak is a steak, butter is cream and salt, milk is milk! They are all pretty much single ingredients. But then when you consider vegans who say they are healthier It makes me wonder, well are they.... 🤔 Think about all of the processing that has had to go into making things like Quorn, vegetable spreads, pea milks, vegan cheeses, etc.

I cut out ultra processed food about 6 months ago. There are of course times when I make the odd exception, but they are perhaps once a month if that. I cook most of my food from scratch and feel so much better for it.

TheKeatingFive Tue 18-May-21 09:46:27

I don't eat too much UPF, crackers/biscuits would be the main exception to that.

We have eggs for breakfast most days. Sandwich/soup/leftovers for lunch. I cook from scratch most of the time. Things like fish, cous cous, pasta, stir fries are all pretty quick.

Google some meals you can do in 15-30 mins from scratch.

Shannith Tue 18-May-21 09:47:25

Almost noting here really. It's a semi conscious thing but actually just habit and the way I've always eaten/cooked.

I've always cooked from scratch, not for wanky reasons but because I like cooking and for me it's cheaper and easier.

However, ham, bacon, sausages do feature.

I've never eaten cereal so DC don't as apart from the odd variety pack we never have it in.

Donitta Tue 18-May-21 09:47:35

I eat brown bread but obviously it comes from a factory in a plastic wrapper and has various ingredients. The ham in my sandwich and the carton of soup I have for lunch counts as processed too. So does my daily treat of chocolate. In fact the only meal I cook from scratch is dinner.

Judystilldreamsofhorses Tue 18-May-21 09:48:48

I remember reading this article in the Guardian about it:


(It's long though.)

My take on it is just balance in terms of time. So tonight we are having a chicken pie from M&S, with fresh broccoli, and mashed potatoes. Last night I cooked a chilli from scratch, with loads of vegetables in it, but we had it with microwave rice.

PetuniaPot Tue 18-May-21 09:50:53

I have a partner problem. He won't stop buying it and sees it as normal.
Cereal and biscuits being worst daily foods.

ragged Tue 18-May-21 09:55:04

tonnes, I could believe it's >> 30% of my calories

Bread with emulsifiers, salami, ham, Fake meat (DH buys it), Chocolate, sausages, crisps, wine, crackers, fruit juice, shop-made cake, baked beans: all staples

I started making my own soup from fresh veg. For whatever reason that doesn't count. <shrug>

CounsellorTroi Tue 18-May-21 09:55:46

What about plant milks? They are pretty processed.

ragged Tue 18-May-21 09:56:08

ps, fixed OP's link

MindBodyChocolate Tue 18-May-21 10:00:21

I’m trying to eat much more unprocessed food - lots of vegetables and fish at the minute. I’ve also made a concerted effort to cut down the amount of UPF the kids are having in sugary snacks. It’s hard work but I know it’s worth it.

BIWI Tue 18-May-21 10:00:24

I'd avoid Quorn like the plague. This is how it's made/what it's made from:

Quorn is made from the soil mould Fusarium venenatum strain PTA-2684 (previously misidentified as the parasitic mould Fusarium graminearum). The fungus is grown in continually oxygenated water in large, otherwise sterile fermentation tanks. Glucose and fixed nitrogen are added as a food for the fungus, as are vitamins and minerals to improve the food value of the product. The resulting mycoprotein is then extracted and heat-treated to remove excess levels of RNA. Previous attempts to produce such fermented protein foodstuffs were thwarted by excessive levels of DNA or RNA; without the heat treatment, purines, found in nucleic acids, are metabolised by humans to produce uric acid, which can lead to gout.

The product is dried and mixed with egg albumen, which acts as a binder. It is then textured, giving it some of the grained character of meat, and pressed into a mince resembling ground beef; forms resembling chicken breasts, meatballs, and turkey roasts; or chunks resembling diced chicken breast

From this site

HappyHappyHippocampus Tue 18-May-21 10:04:47

We mostly have an unprocessed veggie diet. Basically, if you think of buying an item and you can make it yourself with raw ingredients, then don’t buy it and make it. It does take a lot of organisation and time but once you’re in the swing of it, you get used to it quite quickly.

So today - porridge with honey and banana.
Left over vegetable lasagne
I might have a couple of biscuits with tea this afternoon.
Smokey bean stew and jacket potatoes

We also do Gousto boxes which helps as you receive the raw ingredients and a recipe.

Gensola Tue 18-May-21 10:10:31

I try to eat as little of it as possible - we don't have any cereals or biscuits or cakes in the house usually, we buy bread which is minimally processed (for DH, I don't eat it), breakfast is fruit or eggs for me, sourdough rye for DH, sometimes eggs and spinach/smoked salmon.

We cook mainly from scratch but I do use e.g. jars of passata/tomato puree etc. I am trying not to use any tinned food atm because I am having IVF and have been advised to avoid it due to BPAs, we do use the occasional tin of chickpeas or other beans though as life is too short for soaking and boiling!!

Occasional use of veggie sausages or similar but not often.

DenisetheMenace Tue 18-May-21 10:13:25

Not much, Swiss muesli, occasional bacon, vegan sausages (not vegan, just love the Richmond ones), coated fish maybe once a week and can’t resist garlic sausage and eat butter most days.
That’s about it really.
Make our own bread. Eat lots of veg/fruit.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in