Cookies and French fries described as "ultraprocessed" foods and a dementia risk

A major media news article describes French fries and cookies as “ultraprocessed foods” that can raise “risk for cognitive decline,” according to a 2022 study...


The article fails to include a link to the study, but defines ultraprocessed foods, in part, as “food substances... that contain little or no whole foods” and lack fiber and other important nutrients. What is not mentioned, is that it all depends on how the fries and cookies are made. Generally, French fries are just potatoes and oil, with some salt added (usually less per serving than in a typical bowl of cereal, by the way), and cookies are flour (many varieties possible), a fat (butter, oil, nut butter, etc.), a sweetener (many simple/basic options there also), sometimes eggs, plus seasoning and leavening. None of those ingredients is ultraprocessed, and French fries (even most fast food versions) are usually a good source of fiber and potassium, and often vitamin C as well. Cookies with whole grains, nuts, dried fruit, etc. can be a good source of fiber and certain minerals. Many retail products are made with such simple ingredients. The “ultraprocessed” moniker is being applied generically rather than scientifically/factually. They would have to call both plain potatoes and plain oil (including olive oil) “ultraprocessed” if they are going to use the same term to describe foods containing those two ingredients together. 

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