What Happens When You Eat Ultraprocessed Food for a Month?

It likely comes as no surprise that eating a diet filled with ultraprocessed foods is unhealthy. Research has demonstrated ultraprocessed foods can increase your caloric intake and weight gain.1,2

Data3 gathered from 2009 to 2010 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed ultraprocessed foods made up 57.9% of the energy intake of Americans and sugar contributed 89.7% of the energy intake.

By 2019, a study published in the journal Nutrients4 found 71% of packaged products in the grocery store were ultraprocessed. Researchers from Northwestern Medicine estimated nearly 80% of the total calories consumed by Americans is from store-bought food and beverages.5

The researchers also compared the food supply in the U.S. against other western countries like Australia, finding packaged foods Americans were eating had higher median amounts of sugar and salt. These foods contribute to the rising level of obesity across the world.

The World Health Organization reported worldwide obesity tripled since 1975.6 The rate of overweight and obesity are rising rapidly in the U.S. as well. Data gathered from 1999 to 2000 and then again from 2017 to 2018 show the prevalence of obesity rose from 30.5% to 42.4%.7 During the same periods, the prevalence of severe obesity rose from 4.7% to 9.2%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that from 2017 to 2018, the prevalence of obesity was 19.3% in children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years.8 However, as data have demonstrated and one BBC reporter illustrated, what you eat is a key factor in your health.9

BBC Reporter Eats Only Ultraprocessed Food for One Month

BBC television presenter Dr. Chris van Tulleken was interested in what would happen if he changed his diet for just one month. Tulleken, presenter of “What Are We Feeding our Kids?” was curious about how ultraprocessed foods affect our bodies. The BBC reports that in the U.K, as in the U.S., over half the energy from food in the average diet comes from ultraprocessed products.10

Over one month, 42-year-old Tulleken increased his daily intake of ultraprocessed products from 30% to 80%, mimicking how 20% of the U.K. population eats.11 At the end of four weeks, Tulleken experienced a myriad of changes to his health, including:

Poor sleep




Low libido

Unhappy feelings

Hemorrhoids (from constipation)

Weight gain of 7 kilograms (15.4 pounds)

“I felt ten years older, but I didn’t realize it was all [because of] the food until I stopped eating the diet,” Tulleken told the BBC. This is telling, since the physician purposefully changed his diet and yet did not recognize feeling 10 years older in one month was associated with the food he was eating.

How much more difficult might it be to convince others that the way they are feeling is related to the chemicals they are consuming? At the rate he gained weight, he believed if he’d continued for six months, he would have gained 6 stone (84 pounds).

These were the health effects Tulleken could identify without testing. He also underwent several measurements of health biomarkers, which demonstrated significant changes from only four weeks of eating ultraprocessed foods.12

Brain scans showed that the diet had created new links in his brain from areas responsible for reward to areas that drive automatic and repetitive behavior. This is a similar response to taking classically addictive substances, such as tobacco, alcohol and drugs.

The brain changes that occurred in the short time that Tulleken had consumed high amounts of processed products were not permanent. However, it isn’t possible to make the same assumption if the diet is followed for months or years. Additionally, Tulleken points out “if it can do that in four weeks to my 42-year-old brain, what is it doing to the fragile developing brains of our children?”

You Eat More When You Eat Ultraprocessed Foods

Tulleken also discovered he consumed about 500 calories more each day than he had before he began the ultraprocessed diet. This was consistent with a study13 from the National Institutes of Health conducted by Kevin Hall, Ph.D., senior investigator at the NIH Intramural Research Program. In Hall’s research he compared two diets that were matched for macronutrients, sugar, salt and fiber content.

One diet was about 80% ultraprocessed products and the other was an unprocessed diet. The group consumed the ultraprocessed diet for two weeks and then was switched to the unprocessed diet while admitted and monitored at the NIH Clinical Center.

The participants were encouraged to eat as much or as little as they wanted. The scientists found that when the participants ate the ultraprocessed diet they consumed more carbohydrates, but not protein. During the two-week intervention, participants gained approximately 0.9 kilograms (2 pounds) while eating the ultraprocessed diet and lost the same amount eating the unprocessed diet.14

The BBC reports Hall’s team also measured hormonal biomarkers responsible for feelings of hunger and satiety.15 As you might expect, the hormone responsible for hunger (ghrelin) increased and that responsible for feeling full (leptin) decreased while participants were eating the ultraprocessed products.

These results were consistent with Tulleken’s experience, as his ghrelin level increased by 30% during the four weeks that he ate ultraprocessed products. In that month he found himself craving food more often and eating more quickly, which likely contributed to eating more food. What is classified as an ultraprocessed food may surprise you.

NOVA16 classifies food categories according to the extent and purpose of processing, rather than the nutrients found in the food. NOVA categories are recognized as a valid tool for nutrition and public health research and are used in reports from the United Nations and Pan American Health Organization.17

According to NOVA,18 ultraprocessed food and beverages have industrial formulations, typically with five or more of these types of ingredients. Below is a list that is not all inclusive but does offer insight into the types of foods that are considered ultraprocessed.19 As you can see, some are products that are touted as a healthy food choice, such as breakfast cereals, energy bars and fruit yogurt.

Ice cream




Cakes and cake mixes

Breakfast cereals


Fruit yogurt

Fruit drinks

Energy bars

Cocoa drinks

Infant formulas

Energy drinks

Instant sauces

Ready-to-heat products

Powdered or packaged instant soups, noodles and desserts

Mass-produced bread and buns

Margarines and spreads

Ultraprocessed Foods Increase Disease Risk

Several studies have identified disease risks that are associated with consumption of ultraprocessed foods. In one study,20 researchers collected data on dietary intake from 105,159 participants. Their main outcome measurement was the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

The mean follow-up was 5.2 years, during which the researchers found intake of ultraprocessed foods was associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The results were statistically significant even after adjusting for markers of nutritional quality and after a large range of sensitivity analysis.

As Tulleken experienced, and many studies have reported, eating a diet high in ultraprocessed foods increases your risk of obesity. In turn, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, obesity increases an adult’s risk for many serious diseases, including:21

All-cause mortality (death)

Changes in cholesterol levels

Type 2 diabetes

Heart disease and high blood pressure

Sleep apnea and breathing problems

Mental illness such as depression and anxiety


Gallbladder disease

Low quality of life


Many types of cancers

Pain and difficulty functioning

One of the top causes of death researchers have linked to eating ultraprocessed products is cancer. The significant role that metabolism plays on cancer cells is clear and based on the findings of Dr. Otto Warburg, a classically trained biochemist who received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 193122 for his discovery of the nature and action of cancer cell metabolism.

Smoking has been in the No. 1 spot for preventable causes of cancer for decades. However, it appears obesity is not far behind. According to Dr. Otis Brawley, professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University and past chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, this may happen within the next five to 10 years.23

Compared to a normal weight range, obesity increases the likelihood of cancer recurrence and is associated with a lower likelihood of survival. While the exact mechanisms behind the cancer-obesity link are not fully understood, researchers are focusing on studying24 visceral fat, as it is metabolically active and may spur cellular growth.

Metabolic Disease Raises Risk of COVID-19

As Tulleken discovered, ultraprocessed food is designed to be appealing, hyperpalatable and habit forming. This is all thanks to additives, crafty packaging and marketing and “convenience.” Unfortunately, these ultraprocessed products are filled with empty calories and devoid of vitamins, minerals, liver enzymes, micronutrients, high-quality fats and protein.

Dr. Aseem Malhotra is an honorary consultant cardiologist at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, England.25 According to an article he wrote in European Scientist, ultraprocessed foods cause:26

“… chronic metabolic disease which can affect many of ‘normal’ weight. Furthermore, sarcopenic obesity may misclassify many elderly patients to having a normal BMI on hospital admission with COVID-19 … There’s no such thing as a healthy weight, only a healthy person.

A recent commentary In Nature states that ‘patients with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome might have to up 10 times greater risk of death when they contract COVID-19’ and has called for mandatory glucose and metabolic control of type 2 diabetes patients to improve outcomes.”

Since Malhotra’s assertion in early 2020, multiple studies have been published that showed comorbidities such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes increase the risk of severe COVID-19 and worse outcomes.27,28,29 This has suggested to scientists that metabolic syndrome and the consequences from it may be a “better prognostic indicator” for severe outcomes than the individual components of the syndrome.30

Your Diet Is a Key Factor in Health and Longevity

As decades of data have demonstrated, the foods you eat are a key factor and a prognostic indicator of your overall health and expected longevity. Undoubtedly, there is a serious health epidemic across the world, and it is not COVID-19. The obesity epidemic has no quick and easy answer, and much of it is linked to diet. The consequences of this health condition are far reaching and can be lethal.

It is crucial to remember that the food you eat is the foundation on which your health is built. Therefore, eating a processed food diet is a recipe for long-term disaster. If you have access to real food, it is important to take the time to learn to cook from scratch and make the most of any leftovers.

With a little bit of dedication and planning, it is also possible to grow your own produce at home, even in small spaces, including indoors. Consuming a diet of 90% real food and 10% or less processed food is achievable and may make a significant difference in weight management and overall health. For a list of guidelines to help you get started, see “Why a Calorie Is Not a Calorie.”

Blistering Backstory Behind COVID-19

Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association, has been an activist since the 1960s, not only centered on anti-GMO campaigns and sustainable and regenerative agriculture, but also for human rights and labor issues.

His understanding of the natural world and passion to protect it, along with his expertise in political and economic systems, makes him uniquely suited to speak about the truth behind COVID-19 and the ongoing censorship that has kept the truth largely hidden from the public.

Cummins and I co-wrote the book, “The Truth About COVID-19 — Exposing the Great Reset, Lockdowns, Vaccine Passports and the New Normal,” which exposes the catastrophic events that have occurred due to what appears to be an engineered coronavirus.

In an interview with Speaking Naturally founder Rob Verkerk, Ph.D., Cummins goes into more details about why he believes COVID-19 is the biggest disaster since the second World War.

“Biofascism is what we’re staring in the face right now,” Cummins said. “And if we’re not careful, we’re going to lose not only our health, our environment, the climate crisis is not going to get fixed, but we’re going to be living in a global state that more closely resembles Communist China than it does a participatory democracy.”1

SARS-CoV-2 a ‘Lab-Released, Lab-Engineered’ Virus

The evidence is now overwhelming that SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic are the result of a laboratory release. While no one thought that in our lifetimes in the U.S. we’d be unable to speak freely and uncensored in many channels, such as online, Cummins believes the truth will come out.

“If we were in a courtroom, and there was a jury that had been selected based on the fact that they could render an objective judgment, we would win hands down, right now,” Cummins said, due to preponderance of evidence. He stated:2

“They’re making billions of dollars off a lab-released, lab-engineered virus that should have never existed in the first place, and it wouldn’t have if the public had known about this. But they operate in secret and we don’t understand that the military industrial complex is not just a threat of a nuclear war or a conflict escalating into that.

These people are a threat right now with what they’re doing globally. They’re designing things that will make SARS-CoV-2 look less threatening.”

What Cummins refers to is controversial gain-of-function (GOF) research, which refers to studies that enhance the ability of pathogens to cause disease, making them more virulent or easily transmissible, for instance. Because GOF research can be used to make pathogens more readily able to infect humans, it poses major biosecurity risks.

Many experts, including Jonathan Latham, Ph.D., a molecular biologist and virologist, and Allison Wilson, Ph.D., a geneticist, believe GOF research performed at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) played “an essential causative role in the pandemic.”3 Verkerk asks Cummins if he thinks SARS-CoV-2 was an accidental escape due to GOF research or a deliberate release, to which Cummins responds that that’s really beside the point — either way, it’s a disaster:4

“Scientists, as we speak, are manipulating the SARS-CoV-2 virus to where it will be able to survive the basic immune response of humans. Just think about this for a minute.

If another version gets out there — whether it’s deliberate or accidental, it’s not going to matter — but it’s a version that’s been souped up to where your natural immune system can’t fight it off, it makes it very difficult to talk about vaccine safety and freedom of choice …

The globalists now see that they can consolidate power and control from what looks like an accidental release. You will be able to do this with other varieties.”

GOF Loopholes Must Be Closed

WHO’s heavily conflicted investigative commission, tasked with identifying the origin of SARS-CoV-2, announced the WIV and two other biosafety level 4 laboratories in Wuhan, China, had nothing to do with the COVID-19 outbreak in February 2021.

Since then, WIV deleted mentions of its collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other U.S. research partners from its website.5 It also deleted descriptions of GOF research on the SARS virus.

The U.S. government has committed to redoubling efforts to look into the real origins of COVID-19. While Beijing has stated that it considers the investigation to be complete,6 a U.S. investigation is expected to examine information from WIV held by NIH, NIAID, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, EcoHealth Alliance and the National Science Foundation.7

Meanwhile, the Senate passed an amendment to ban U.S. funding to WIV going forward, while another banned U.S. funding for any GOF research in China.8 This is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough and will in no way prevent another manmade pandemic because this type of research is being done all around the world, not just in China.

Unless the U.S. government bans GOF research within its own borders, and encourages the rest of the world to ban it as well, there’s nothing to prevent researchers from creating another deadly pathogen that would never have arisen naturally. As Cummins stated, we need to close all loopholes and make GOF research illegal, or it’s only a matter of time before another engineered virus is unleashed.

Cummins even mentions that some evidence suggests HIV may have been a lab release, along with Lyme disease, which he said may be a chemical and biological weapon that escaped.

“It’s here, and the medical establishment first tried to say it was all in your head, then have been very reluctant to look at how complicated the symptoms are and how serious this disease is. And the reason it’s so serious — this is not like other diseases they look at — is because this thing was weaponized to be used in war. It was used in various theaters of the Cold War and the Hot War.”

Terrifying Prediction of Daily Life After Great Reset

Cummins also discusses the other side of the Great Reset, and what might happen socially and politically if the technocrats succeed in taking over. The long-term agenda is not about COVID-19 or even the implementation of a biosecurity state but will be used for the extinction of homo sapiens — the end of humanity as you know it.9

This isn’t conjecture. The notion of transhumanism is being actively researched and explored. In an article titled “Looking Forward to the End of Humanity,” The Wall Street Journal noted that COVID-19 “has spotlighted the promise and peril of ‘transhumanism,’ the idea of using technology to overcome sickness, aging and death.”10

One problem is that, once you give in, you become enslaved by the system, and the very things that make us human — like independence of mind — are gone or rendered useless, because the technocrats control everything. There’s a loss of free will as humans hand over power to technology and biotechnology. Even reproduction as you now know it will be affected. Cummins explained that it’s similar to Communist China:11

“It would look like enlightened capitalism on the surface … but a middle-class person in China doesn’t have any rights compared to the remaining rights we have. You can’t go on the internet in China and find information, period, that the government doesn’t want you to see. It doesn’t necessarily mean we will be poor. We will still have a very large middle class.

There won’t be any jobs for the lower class, but I guess they just figure they’ll give them some sort of token wage, and they don’t seem to care that we’re not going to be able to procreate and reproduce the way we do now if we continue on. It’s a serious matter that we’ve got these chemicals in the environment that are decreasing sperm counts in making it harder and harder for people to have children naturally.

It’s like, well, the elite, the globalists and transhumanists, they don’t care because they are secluded from this and they figure artificial insemination is good for everyone. That way we can control the population and so on.”

Your Financial Life Will Also Be Controlled

Every facet of society is being targeted as part of the Great Reset. The World Economic Forum (WEF), a key promoter of the Reset, has been very vocal about getting rid of cash in the U.S. and moving to a centrally controlled digital currency.12 When and if this occurs, it will act as another layer of control and surveillance.

“We need to educate people about what’s going on in China right now,” Cummins said. “In China, your bank account is connected to your behavior, and if they don’t want you to you’re not going to survive economically.” He added:13

“I don’t think people quite grasp what it’s like, this digital currency controlled by the central banks, by the government. We have to fight this system and realize that surveillance capitalism is not in the future.

It already exists in the United States, and they simply haven’t closed the deal yet as the Great Reset is planning. Things like using cash, buying local, growing local food, building up strong governments — we have to decentralize power.”

Recreating China’s social credit system here in the U.S. is likely easier at this point than anyone would like to think, and probably wouldn’t take long to implement. There are no laws in place to curtail surveillance capitalism, and the only reason it has been able to flourish over the past 20 years is because there’s been an absence of laws against it, primarily because it has never previously existed.

Surveillance has become the biggest for-profit industry on the planet, and your entire existence is now being targeted for profit.

If you want to learn more on this topic, “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” written by social psychologist and Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff, is one of the best books I have read in the last few years. It’s an absolute must-read if you have any interest in this topic and want to understand how Google and Facebook have obtained such massive control of your life.

We Need a Participatory Democracy, Not a Great Reset

Cummins urges the public to stop fighting over political terms and ideologies and instead come together toward a participatory democracy, in which people have control over the policies that affect their daily leaves. This would eliminate the dominance of billionaires and corporations, which is the opposite of what the Great Reset is trying to achieve.

“We have to take down the military industrial complex on a global scale as we’re doing this and turn it to pacification and conflict resolution. And I really believe we can do this,” Cummins said. It’s interesting, he pointed out, that a large percentage of police and marines are refusing COVID-19 vaccines, because they’re skeptical not just of COVID-19 but of the elite narrative. The solution will lie in small, local movements preserving their power. According to Cummins:14

“There’s a million different communities in the world. In each one of these communities, we have to organize and take back power … The most important thing is what we’re doing right now in our local regions. If we’re going to have local currencies, cryptocurrencies, that actually work and that can’t be shut down by the government, now’s the time.

But we can’t keep sliding in this direction. We can’t have an internet controlled by billionaires who want a Great Reset and think that we can somehow work around that. We have to take them down. We have to build alternatives, and I believe we can do that.”

This all ties in to the food system, as well, which is also under assault from technocrats trying to usher in synthetic meat and GMOs. But, as Cummins said, “Corporate agribusiness and the genetic engineers have set us up for a biological trigger like SARS-CoV-2, which can magnify and exacerbate the poor health in the population.”

The solution here is healthy, organic, regenerative food and farming, which will bolster the health of the planet, including the Earth itself, via healthier soil, and the humans living on it. This, too, must be done on the local level, via small movements.

Cummins mentions the growing of agave in Mexico, which is being combined with nitrogen-fixing companion tree species (such as mesquite), with holistic rotational grazing of livestock.

The result is a high-biomass, high forage-yielding system that works well even on degraded, semi-arid lands. This agroforestry system reduces the pressure to overgraze brittle rangelands and improves soil health and water retention, while drawing down and storing massive amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

“We have to regenerate health and regenerate the Earth if we’re going to stabilize the climate,” Cummins said, and “we need to reunite under the banner of regenerating health, not becoming transhuman objects …”15 Truth-telling about COVID is another great start and essential piece to stopping the Great Reset. To learn more, be sure to read the rest of the story in “The Truth About COVID-19.”

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