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I suspect the word 'pre-prepared' is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here--when I see that item on the list I think things like pre-fried chicken, frozen burger patties, veggie pakora, veggies in a sauce for a stir-fry, stuff like that (like you'd find in a ready-made frozen meal). Not like, frozen peas.


Also as a brief pointer at another cool thing in Metabolical, Lustig claims that exercise is useful for weight loss mostly because of its beneficial impact on cell repair/metabolic system repair (something specific about mitochondria?) and not for the calorie deficit it may or may not create.

I consider Lustig's science to be quite thorough, I like him a lot. The main point against him is that he personally doesn't look very metabolically healthy, which I would expect of someone who had spent his life investigating and theorising about what influences metabolic health. 


I don't remember individual studies but two books that might be helpful:

Ultra-Processed People by Chris van Tulleken
Metabolical by Robert Lustig 

UPP is terribly written and I imagine mostly useful for its bibliography (I skimmed it in an hour or so). Metabolical is better (although far too difficult a read to be a successful popsci book), although it isn't specifically focused on processing techniques (it in particular discusses stripping out fibre, adding sugars, reducing water, as some major processing techniques with big issues). You might find something helpful looking in the refs section of either book. 


Just wanted to say thank you for this post! It changed my mind slightly (to considering seed oils potentially nonproblematic in and of themselves, outside their being incorporated into ultra-processed food). I appreciate that because it's a topic I care a lot about.


Most bread you would buy in the supermarket is ultra-processed (including almost all organic, whole grain etc etc). 

Types of bread that are only -processed- (not ultra processed):
- Bakery-made bread, often sourdough, with an ingredients list that looks like (wheat flour, salt, water) perhaps with additions like fruit or seeds. This sort of bread lasts a couple of days at best.
- Bread made from literal whole grains--German fitness bread, pumpernickel, sunflower seed bread. This stuff. It is shelf stable but tastes more like a solid cracker than normal bread.
- Anything you make yourself at home.

That's it. Anything with preservatives, dough thickeners, soy lecithin etc in its ingredients list is ultra-processed.


There's a taxonomy now for levels of processing (NOVA groups); most research only finds problems with the highest level of processing (NOVA 4), which includes processing methods you can't do in an ordinary kitchen, or that were not possible ~100 years ago (extrusion, moulding, preprocessing by frying are some examples given).


One way it could be 'the processing, not the ingredients' is that in many cases the fibre is either removed or deconstructed (making it less useful in slowing down the metabolism of sugars), another is that water is removed (although I'm not sure why that's bad exactly). This is one of the key arguments endocrinologist Robert Lustig makes against industrially-processed foods, particularly ones with added sugar, bc the fibre cannot help slow down the metabolism of the sugar because it's broken up or removed.


Lisa doesn’t post much about parenting toddlers; she posts a bit about birth and newborns but the focus of her channel is more on cooking and homemaking and less on parenting IMO. I don’t know enough about the other woman’s channel to evaluate; I’ve only watched a few.

A parent friend recommended the RIE parenting philosophy, and RIE has several demo videos of parents interacting with their kids according to the principles. I’ve watched a few; I think they’re searchable by keyword.


Interviews and kitchen walkthroughs with the head chefs at Michelin-star restaurants; I particularly like one with the head chef at a wild seafood restaurant demonstrating his daily ingredient procurement processes:


Esther Perel’s podcast called ‘Where Shall We Begin?’ where she does a live couples’ therapy session with a guest couple. It is rare to get access to a recorded therapy session, and she is at least world-renowned as a relationship therapist (although that doesn’t necessarily prove that she’s good at it).

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