What if the Western diet is actually ruining your health? Is processed food a shortcut to disease? Today's English lesson kills two birds with one stone. Our innovative lesson is not just about learning English. It's about keeping you engaged in language learning, and who knows? Maybe transforming your life!
🔑 Why our lesson?
- 🎧 LISTEN & LEARN: Absorb authentic British English while discovering food secrets you've always yearned to know!
- 🚀 DOUBLE BENEFIT: Why settle for just English lessons? Become health-savvy too!
- 🌍 GLOBAL COMMUNITY: Join thousands of students worldwide. Learning English was never this fun!
Unlock a new world of English fluency and healthy living with us. It's more than a lesson. It could be a life-changer.
✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/learn-english-language-ultra-processed-food/
To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.
⭐ François de La Rochefoucauld
Buckle up for an adventure into the English language, set against the riveting backdrop of health and nutrition! This podcast blends learning and lifestyle, turning the complexity of English into a delicious and digestible feast.
Unmask hidden sugars, decode mysterious food labels, and unravel the syntax of English - all in one go. Language learning never tasted this good. If you're hungry for knowledge and healthier living, this is your perfect combo meal!
The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.
⭐ Ann Wigmore
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Bite into a healthier lifestyle and smarter vocabulary with our newest lesson! #EnglishFluency. Never let food labels bamboozle you again! Expand your vocabulary and knowledge with us. #FoodVocabulary
Boost your English and brain power! Our lesson makes learning fun and enhances cognitive skills.
Today our unique English lesson blend language learning with insights into leading a healthier life, all in one go! This isn't an ordinary English lessons; its your ticket to mastering the English language, understanding the secrets to living better, healthier, and longer, and articulating complex topics like diet and nutrition as smoothly as you would in your native tongue.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
Things you will learn fluency to this English fluency lesson:, you will discover:
- Learn real-world English with phrases like 'hidden assassin' and 'harbinger of health issues'!
- Explore how to use metaphors: 'Eating close to the ground' as a healthy lifestyle.
- Learn to express surprise: 'Unbelievable, isn't it?' and 'Ever imagined...?'
- Understand the use of conditional sentences: 'What if the Western diet...'
- Practice using negative constructions: 'You could be unknowingly pre-diabetic.'
- Enhance your vocabulary with words like 'ultra-processed', 'deceptively', 'spikes'.
- Grasp the art of questioning: 'Apple Danish - A deceptively unhealthy delight?'
- Use of suspense for dramatic effect: 'Your favourite snacks could be...'
- Develop language rhythm with alliteration: 'Flavour enhancers in food – An unnecessary evil?'
- Learn complex sentences: 'Are you unknowingly pre-diabetic? You could be part of the shocking 90%!'
- Master the usage of 'could', 'might', 'may' for expressing possibility.
- Familiarize with the language of warnings: 'Your fruit juice might have more sugar than you think!'
- Boost your English with idiomatic language: 'A hidden assassin on your plate?'
- Understand the use of rhetorical questions: 'Western diets: Are they the harbinger of long-term health issues?'
- Use adverbs for emphasis: 'Common kitchen ingredients like potato starch could be your worst enemy!'
Not only do we focus on the linguistic aspect but also the practical use of English, diving into real-world topics like health and nutrition. We aim to make you fluent and capable of expressing your thoughts, understanding different contexts, and engaging in everyday conversations. By blending English learning with everyday topics, we make the lessons more relatable and engaging, hence increasing your chances of retention and application.
- We embed English in real-life topics, gradually enabling you to participate in everyday conversations.
- Our focus is on fluency, encouraging you to think and express your thoughts in English.
- We blend language learning with engaging topics, enhancing retention through practical contexts.
- Our lessons help you immerse in the English-speaking culture, understand, and adapt to different contexts.
- We combine language learning with discussions about crucial lifestyle topics, equipping you with the necessary vocabulary.
Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.
⭐ Thomas Edison
Here are three key reasons highlighting the significance of our lessons' objectives:
- Language Learning and Cognitive Function: Improving English skills and cognitive abilities.
- Impact of Ultra-Processed Foods: Learning about the serious health conditions linked with ultra-processed food consumption.
- Connection between Diet and Mental Health: Gaining insight into how diet influences our mental health.
These facts underscore the importance of actively engaging in our English lessons, supporting not just language acquisition but also a healthier lifestyle.
Join us, learn more, and live better! Subscribe to our podcast for regular lessons that enrich your English and your life. Boost your English and brain power! Understand your diet better and make healthier choices. Click 'follow' now and start your journey towards English fluency and improved general knowledge.
Imagine this lesson as a culinary journey, where each word is a fresh, juicy ingredient. As you listen and absorb, you're hand-picking these ingredients, each one a vital part of a wholesome feast. The ultra-processed food? That's the jargon and complexities of the English language you're skilfully leaving behind. Our journey leads us towards a healthier linguistic lifestyle, with our basket full of the freshest vocabulary around diet and nutrition.
- What is the primary goal of this English language lesson? The main goal is to improve your English language skills. The objective here is to listen attentively, absorb crucial vocabulary around diet and nutrition, and understand the significance of reducing ultra-processed foods for a healthier lifestyle.
- How can this lesson help in learning British English? This lesson offers you a deep dive into the nuances of everyday British English, with a focus on vocabulary related to diet and nutrition. By engaging with the content, you're stepping into the rhythms and idiosyncrasies of the language.
- What topics related to diet and nutrition are covered in the lesson? The lesson covers vital terms and discussions around ultra-processed foods, their health impacts such as diabetes, and the importance of reducing their consumption. You'll learn to express these ideas in British English.
- How can this lesson help in speaking English fluently? As you delve into the lesson, you're not just learning about diet and nutrition, you're also gaining exposure to British English usage and pronunciation. This exposure and practice are critical for achieving fluency.
- Who would benefit most from this lesson? Anyone who wishes to improve their British English while gaining knowledge on healthy eating habits and the impact of ultra-processed foods would find this lesson especially beneficial.
- Harbinger: Something that shows what is coming.
- Deceptively: In a misleading way.
- Ultra-processed: Extremely processed; changed from its natural state.
- Diabetes: A disease where the body can't control sugar levels properly.
- Pre-diabetic: The state before developing full diabetes.
- Flavonoids: Types of chemicals found in plants.
- Alliteration: The repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words.
- Spikes: Sudden increase.
- Epidemic: A widespread occurrence of a particular problem.
- Rhetorical: Questions asked for effect, not meant to be answered.
Hi there! A question for you. What's your go to snack when you feel hungry? An apple perhaps? Or some nuts, maybe?
Or maybe something like Oreos or a McDonald's burger? Have you ever considered the possibility that your favourite food might be damaging your health because it's 'ultra processed'? Get ready to question your diet.
If you listen to this podcast regularly, you'll know that I'm interested in research on diet and nutrition and good health. And ultra-processed foods and the effect on your health is a topic that keeps popping up for me. If you eat a westernised diet, like that of the US, the UK, or many parts of Europe, your health is probably in danger from 'ultra processed foods'. What are they? And and why do they pose a threat to your health? Let's find out today. And while we're at it, of course, we're improving your English language skills. That's what I call 'killing two birds with one stone'. While I'm talking about this interesting topic, your brain will be doing its English language practice.
So keep your ears open for that unique vocabulary about health and nutrition. And stay with me til the end of this podcast. And I'll talk about my personal experience of eating an ultra processed food and why it was a problem.
Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.
Just before we get into that, I must mention Course One, Activate Your Listening, available on our website at adeptenglish.com. If you're looking for more focused English conversation and vocabulary practice around topics like the UK, Food, Education, you won't find a better resource than this. The course features voices other than mine and it's available to buy on our website at adeptenglish.com.
So, ultra processed foods? Vocabulary, first of all. The word 'ultra', U L T R A, as in 'ultra processed foods', that just means 'very' or 'extremely'. And 'processed'? Well that comes from the verb 'to process', P R O C E S S. A verb meaning 'to put something through a series of steps or stages'. So, when we talk about 'ultra processed foods', we mean foods that have been extensively modified, changed by industrial processes, lots of 'added ingredients'.
Ingredients, I N G R E D I E N T S. That just means 'the parts', 'the things that make up a food', they're the 'ingredients'.
So, food which started off as 'raw ingredients', recognisable food that comes from the ground, like meat, fruit, vegetables, grains. They go into a factory at one end, an industrial process takes place and at the other end, out comes a packet of biscuits or a maize-based snack like cheese puffs, or perhaps frankfurters. That's what comes out at the other end.
So if food goes through a lot of processing and has a lot of added ingredients, especially ones you wouldn't recognise from your kitchen, that's an ultra processed food. And UPFs are receiving a lot of attention at the moment as a health concern.
Dr William Li, L I, is a famous physician - doctor, and researcher, whose favourite topic is how diet and nutrition affect our health. ' Diet', D I E T, means 'what you eat'. And nutrition, N U T R I T I O N - that means 'the foods that you take into your body and the effect on your body'. That's 'nutrition'.
So, Dr Li gives a very useful definition of food processing, using an apple. If you take an apple and you eat it just as it is, that's completely 'unprocessed'. And that 'unprocessed' version of the apple is the best for you, best for your health. But if you were to take that apple and peel it and remove the core - the middle - and slice it up, the kind of thing you might do for your small child, then that would be another stage in processing the apple.
Then, if instead of giving those apple pieces to your child, you put them in a pan with some sugar and you cooked them and made apple sauce, that would be more processed.
And if you were to buy an apple Danish from the supermarket, then that's been even more processed. You're then into a whole different world.
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I'm about to read you an ingredients list for an apple Danish from a typical UK supermarket. And this is one with a long shelf life. Don't worry if you don't understand all of these words, because I don't either! Here goes. "Wheat flour, calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamine, apple - 25%, water, palm oil, sugar, rapeseed oil, yeast, whole egg, corn flour, isomalt, Mono and diglycerides of fatty acids, lemon juice, potassium sorbate, agar, citric acid, flavouring".
That is an ultra processed food! If you pay close attention to that ingredients list, you'll notice that 'citric acid' and 'lemon juice' appear. Well, they're kind of the same thing, and no one's really going to object to there being lemon juice in food.
On the other hand, there are many things on that ingredients list that we might not recognise as food - t hey certainly wouldn't be in your kitchen cupboard. Calcium carbonate, palm oil, isomalt. What on earth is that? Mono and diglycerides of fatty acids. Potassium sorbate, agar. Yum, yum! I don't have these things in my kitchen cupboards and I'm pretty sure you won't either. So when we eat ready-made products like this long life apple Danish pastry, we're buying products of the food industry and we're eating a whole load of additives, A D D I T I V E. An 'additive' is an additional chemical. Mostly these additives are not put in for our good health. They're there to increase the 'shelf life'. That means 'how long the product lasts on the shelf'. Scarily long in the case of some foods. Or additives are there to improve the flavour or texture in the mouth, often enabling the use of cheaper ingredients. Or it's about chemically enhancing the flavour. But if you were to cook a fresh apple Danish, you wouldn't need flavour enhancers. It would taste good as it was!
But of course, most of us don't have time to bake a Danish pastry in the morning. And that's why we've come to rely on processed supermarket food. So the damage done in ultra processing of food is partly by what is added, what nature didn't intend, but it's also about what is removed. Often nutrients and fibre are removed in the processing.
So I'm not proposing to outlaw the apple Danish or similar foods. That would be a shame! But the news from food scientists is that the more of our diet that's made up of these ultra processed foods, the less likely we are to be healthy in the long term. And rather like the example of the apple, the closer our food is to the soil, to the ground, the healthier we will be in the long term.
And sometimes the problem of food processing is that it enables us to eat far more of something than we would naturally. I'll give you an example. You would be unlikely to eat six oranges at once. But if you juice your oranges, you could easily use six of them. And if you drink that juice, the problem is there's a lot more sugar in there than you'd take from eating one orange. You've also removed some of what's good for you in those six oranges - the fibre.
So, processing can interfere with the balance, the balance of nutrition, with what our bodies have evolved to expect. And processing can enable us to eat far more of something than is good for us. And this is borne out by research into different diets around the world.
We're of course assuming that people have enough to eat. I know that that is a problem in some parts of the world. That's a much more serious problem to have, of course.
But what I'm talking about here is a problem you're likely to encounter in a rich westernised country. The Western diet makes you less healthy. Whichever country or culture we're talking about, the 'closer to the ground' the cooking, the healthier the population. And when you see a gradual switch from these traditional diets to a Western diet, particularly a US-influenced diet, people's health suffers in the long term. And this is visible in countries like Japan, where data shows that the traditional Japanese diet is one of the best in the world for 'longevity'. That's L O N G E V I T Y - that means 'how long you live'. But as soon as people move to a more westernised diet, health suffers.
So yes, it's other elements of the Western diet, but ultra processed food plays its part. The problem is that our bodies have evolved over a long period of time. We've been around for at least 300,000 years and our bodies have evolved and adapted to eat natural foods, that we find in our environment, that have been available throughout our history. It's only been in the last hundred years or so that industrial processing of our food has taken place. Making sure that food is safer and we don't die of things like salmonella and E. coli - of course, that's been a benefit. But the food industry adds things to our food, which may not make us ill in the short term, but which perhaps do make us ill in the long term.
And ultra processed food has chemistry that our bodies have not evolved to process. I can give you a personal example. Some of you will remember that recently I did a podcast, 652, on wearing a CGM or Continuous Glucose Monitor. That's a device that measures the amount of sugar in your blood that goes up and down in response to what you eat.
A CGM is normally used by people with diabetes, D I A B E T E S. I don't have diabetes, so why did I wear a CGM? Well, there's a concern that many people, especially people eating this Western diet are heading towards diabetes without knowing it. They're 'pre-diabetic', in other words. There are shocking figures around - it's estimated it could be up to 90% of people of a certain age, who are pre-diabetic but don't know it.
That means they'll develop diabetes in the next few years. So I wanted to test how my body is processing certain foods that I eat. So a CGM measures your 'blood sugar spikes' or 'blood glucose spikes'. That's S P I K E S. A 'spike' is when something goes up and then down quickly like that.
My biggest glucose spikes? These happened when I ate lentil soup. That's L E N T I L S O U P. Not something that you would imagine would spike your blood glucose. It was tinned soup. And when I read the ingredients list, I would class it, I realise, as an ultra processed food. Not freshly made soup. It contained numerous ingredients including cornflour and potato starch, that's S T A R C H. I can eat potatoes without getting a glucose spike, so what's going on here?
Well, potato starch is a normal ingredient in a potato, but it's there with vitamin C and a whole lot of fibre and ingredients, which our bodies have learned to process altogether as a whole food.
But if you isolate something like potato starch by an industrial process and present it to your body in a form that your body has not evolved to deal with, this can be a problem.
I narrowed my glucose spikes down to these two ingredients by experimentation - so I know what caused it! And of course, not everyone will be like me, getting a glucose spike from lentil soup. But it's a good example of how ultra processed foods can be unexpectedly damaging to our health.
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And by the way, if I eat an apple Danish, meaning a traditionally made one with flour and butter and apples, without the ultra processing, without the added ingredients, I don't get that much of a sugar spike. Only what you would expect from eating something sweet.
So, 'nearer to the ground', less processing, fewer additives is better.
OK, so I hope I've got you starting to think about ultra processed foods. And if nothing else, I've perhaps prompted you to do more of your own research. And possibly prompted you to value your own traditional diet if you have one!
But let us know - we love comments! And don't forget to listen to this podcast a number of times so that your English brain can learn all those lovely words for diet and nutrition.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com
- Dr. William Li
- The Perils of Highly Processed Food
- Ultra-processed food may affect your brain
- Sainsbury's Danish Pastry Bramley Apple Lattices
- What Are Monoglycerides
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