Food consumption by degree of processing and cardiometabolic risk: a systematic review
Processed and ultra-processed foods (UPF) consumption has been associated with development of noncommunicable chronic diseases (NCD). This systematic review aims to summarise and discuss evidence of the relationship between food consumption according to degree of food processing and cardiometabolic risk. Data search was conducted in databases as PubMed, Bireme and Science Direct until July 2018. Studies have shown a positive association of UPF consumption with excess body weight, hypertension, dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome features. However, disparities found in the studies analysed regarding dietary assessment, confounding factors and differences in food classifications makes comparisons between studies difficult. In conclusion, current evidences indicate the need to monitor UPF intake in global population. However, more studies are necessary to interpret better these associations with similar methodologies used in the studies. As well as longitudinal analyses can help to improve comparisons between outcomes and establish cause-effect relationship between UPF intake and cardiometabolic risk.