Is ultra-processed food hiding in your fridge?

Ultra-processed foods have become ubiquitous in modern diets. Many of us eat them regularly without understanding their possible effects on our health. 

From hidden additives to addictive properties, these highly processed foods can pose risks

Navigating the complex world of ultra-processing can be challenging, and many people struggle to understand what to avoid, how to break unhealthy habits, and how to make positive changes to their health.

In today’s episode, Jonathan is joined by a special guest, Dr. Chris van Tulleken, to explore the science behind ultra-processed food.

Dr. Chris van Tulleken is an infectious diseases doctor at University College Hospital, in London, and one of the BBC’s leading science presenters. 

Chris shares groundbreaking research from his own lived experiments, including the now famous study with his twin brother Xand. His book Ultra-Processed People is out now.

Jonathan and Chris are joined by ZOE regular Tim Spector. Drawing from their combined expertise, our guests provide practical tips and advice, empowering listeners to make informed choices and take control of their diets.

In this episode, they discuss Ultra-processed diets cause excess calorie intake and weight gain, a study published in Cell Metabolism.

If you want to uncover the right foods for your body, head to and get 10% off your personalized nutrition program.

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Episode transcripts are available here.

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Is there a nutrition topic you’d like us to explore? Get in touch, and we’ll do our best to cover it.


[00:00:00] Jonathan Wolf: On a summer day in 2009, two young men walked into St. Thomas' Hospital in London. They looked incredibly alike. These two young men both were 6 feet tall, both weighed around 80 kilograms, or 170 pounds. Both were, in fact, genetically identical twins participating in a groundbreaking study run by my friend and ZOE co-founder, Tim Spector. 

Fast forward a decade, if you'd seen these brothers standing side by side, you'd have been forgiven for thinking they were not related. Why? Because one twin. Now weighed over 120 kilograms or 270 pounds, while Chris's weight was essentially unchanged. So what had happened during this time, Xand had gone to the US and switched to a diet of almost entirely ultra processed foods. 

We used to think it was the calories that was the problem. It is only in the last three years that new research has revealed that ultra processed foods may be directly responsible for causing obesity and severely damaging our health. Today, one of those twins, Chris Van Tulleken, is on a crusade to educate us on the realities of eating ultra processed food. 

Chris is a medical doctor, broadcaster and the author of brand new book, Ultra Process People. He joins me and Tim Spector to talk about it. Chris and Tim, thank you very much for joining me today, and lots of fun to be able to do this in person, 

[00:01:50] Tim Spector: Great to be here. 

[00:01:51] Chris Van Tulleken: It is nice to be here physically. I haven't seen Tim. Tim and I were trying to work out when we first met, and we think it was more than 15 years ago. Yeah, so very nice to see him.. 

[00:02:01] Jonathan Wolf: Does he look any older? 

[00:02:02] Chris Van Tulleken: He actually doesn't, which is… my hairline has changed. And Tim's has not.

[00:02:06] Tim Spector: Well, you were school boys when you did your first presenting role on twins. 

[00:02:11] Jonathan Wolf: It's his amazing microbiome. That's what it is, Chris. So we have a tradition here that we always start with a quick fire round of questions, and we have some very simple rules. You can say yes or no or maybe and a one sentence answer if you absolutely have to. All right. I'm gonna start with three questions for Chris and then three for Tim. 

So Chris does ultra process food cause obesity? 

[00:02:36] Chris Van Tulleken: Yes, it's responsible for pandemic obesity, so it causes, it Is the primary cause of obesity at a population level 

[00:02:46] Jonathan Wolf: I noticed already. You're good like a professor at like quite a long one sentence answer. Okay. We'll keep, we'll give you that for the first one.

[00:02:51] Chris Van Tulleken: Was that too long? 

[00:02:52] Jonathan Wolf: No, no, no. You know, it's, 

[00:02:54] Tim Spector: The academic answer, 

[00:02:55] Jonathan Wolf: the academic answer. It's good. 

[00:02:56] Chris Van Tulleken: I, I wanted to say so much more. The approximate causes of obesity…

[00:03:01] Jonathan Wolf: No. This is always hard for scientists. All right. Can ultra processed food rewire your brain? 

[00:03:08] Chris Van Tulleken: Yes. 

[00:03:10] Jonathan Wolf: How much of our food is now ultra processed in the US and uk? 

[00:03:16] Chris Van Tulleken: So I get my one sentence? 

[00:03:17] Jonathan Wolf: Yeah, that was just a tricky one at the end for you, 

[00:03:19] Chris Van Tulleken: In the uk on average? 

[00:03:21] Jonathan Wolf: UK and US. Yeah. 

[00:03:22] Chris Van Tulleken: In the UK, and the US, on average, more than half of our calories on average come from ultra process 

[00:03:27] Jonathan Wolf: Which is obviously enormous. Brilliant. Tim, do scientists understand how ultra processed foods damage our health? 

[00:03:35] Tim Spector: We're beginning to, 

[00:03:38] Jonathan Wolf: Can you undo the damage from ultra processed food if you stop eating it? 

[00:03:43] Tim Spector: yes, 

[00:03:44] Jonathan Wolf: And finally, can ultra processed food ever be healthy? 

[00:03:49] Tim Spector: unlikely, but I'm not saying it could never be.

[00:03:54] Jonathan Wolf: Chris. You got one on that one? 

[00:03:56] Chris Van Tulleken: I think unlikely is a really good answer. I mean, I'll tell you what, just for difference. I'll say no. 

[00:04:02] Jonathan Wolf: Fantastic, and we're gonna come back to all of those things. I hope that's teed up. Like this is pretty interesting, right? People talk about this food as literally causing obesity, causing, you know, rewiring of the brain. I think this is all stuff that I had no idea about a few years ago, and I'd love to unpick it a bit through this. 

But before we do that, I'd actually love to let go back to sort of the beginning of this story and why you were interested in nutrition, because I think it really ties in with the first story that Tim told me when I first met him, because of course, Tim has been doing this twin study for 30 years and looking at differences between identical twins, and so I'd love maybe if you could. 

Talk a little bit about the story about, you know, your own experience as being an identical twin and how that's, so I guess, started to intrigue you with nutrition, and maybe Tim can tie that in a little bit to his own journey from, I guess, genetics as destiny to this idea that actually there's a lot more than just our genes that shape our health. 

[00:05:02] Tim Spector: In your first DXA scan you had, remember in the department, you and your brother, 

[00:05:07] Chris Van Tulleken: I mean, Tim, you know, really weighed carefully, you know, and measured me and my brother. And I think that was, that was at the beginning of quite a long interest in nutrition. 

[00:05:17] Jonathan Wolf: And how long ago was, when would this have been? 

[00:05:19] Chris Van Tulleken: So we, we think that was about 2007 or 2008, so more than 15 years ago. And, As a result of that program, I found out that I have really all the major genetic risk factors for obesity. And bearing witness to that, and Tim remembers this very well, is that my identical twin, who is my genetic clone, went and lived in the States for a year. And in fact he lived there for a decade and he had quite a stressful time there. And he put on around 30 kilos. 

[00:05:48] Jonathan Wolf: 30 kilos. 

[00:05:49] Chris Van Tulleken: huge amount of weight. And I was protected by several things. The UK food environment by…

[00:05:55] Jonathan Wolf: I think I should just mention for those of you are on audio, Chris doesn't look like he has put on 30 kilos at any point in his life. 

[00:06:01] Chris Van Tulleken: I am currently, I think at the low end of overweight, so I am, I, I hide it well cuz if you, if you're a bloke, people don't look at you in the same way and you can wear a baggy jumper. But I'm at the low end of overweight at the moment. But no, Xand became very heavy. And, but also I'm, I'm an infectious diseases doctor and I did a lot of work in public health and global health where nutrition is what underpins early death for particularly children all around the world and they get severe infections. And so this, having this brother who was really living with significant obesity and seeing my patients being very affected in particularly in low-income countries by, by poor nutrition g, gave me a real interest in, in how we should feed ourselves better. 

[00:06:46] Tim Spector: Yeah, and I remember having an interest then in discordant twins as well. And so, 

[00:06:51] Jonathan Wolf: discordant meaning? 

[00:06:52] Tim Spector: I mean, one twin, they differ in whether it's height or weight or diseases, so there's lack of concordance. I was intrigued at the time about what the reasons for that would be. 

[00:07:07] Jonathan Wolf: because it seemed strange cuz they were genetically the same 

[00:07:09] Tim Spector: Because generally people think of identical twins as everything's identical about them. 

You know, they smile the same way they pick up their beer the same way they giggle the same way. Everything looks the same. But when you actually get to diseases, you know, they die at different times. They get different cancers actually, you know, longevity is is rather different and the aging process is different and we've never really explained why that was. 

And so examples. Like Chris and Xand were, were sort of fascinating, you know, was it just that one went to the US and the other one didn't? Were there, you know, other emotional reasons or there some physiological thing or something earlier in their life, you know? So to me, you know, twins have always been this amazing model where you can sort of separate all the differences. 

So these are two clones. Who lived virtually first 18 years doing exactly the same things, and if they, they're different, what was it about them? So I think it wa it is a fascinating natural experiment that we were seeing in real life. And, you know, and, and then again, both the twins were interested in their own destinies, if you like, and what happened to them. 

[00:08:17] Chris Van Tulleken: Is it fair, Tim, at the time, I think you said, cuz you, you were running the, the, the largest twin study in the uk. One of the largest in the world. We had the, the greatest discordant discordance in our weight of any twin pair that you'd ever encountered in the scientific literature. There was, there was a bigger difference between us. I think it was 26 kilos at the time. 

[00:08:37] Tim Spector: Certainly that was true for males of your age. I think we have seen other ones bigger than that, but certainly in the young males it was, it was pretty extreme. Yes. And that, that was sort of quite shocking really. 

[00:08:51] Jonathan Wolf: And was this part of what was triggering your realization? There couldn't just be genes that were driving our health, Tim, which I know you,when I met you much later, you 

[00:08:58] Tim Spector: Certainly I realized it couldn't just be genes in the, in the, in the sense that they both had identical genes in every cell or their body at the time. I thought it could be something called epigenetics. We probably might have discussed that at the time where I. Little chemicals and things might just tweak your genes so they chemicals get stuck onto your, your genes and that makes 'em produce different proteins. 

And I was sort of going down that route, but in 2008, no one was discussing. Microbes and the gut microbiome and that as a potential root and a difference. And, and also people, you know, we're only talking about abortion sizes and, oh, in America that you just get bigger amount of fries than you do in the uk. 

So that must be the reason. So it was quite primitive in terms of the, the ideas we had. And it might've just been, oh, well, Xand had been having extra calories, that's why he'd got bigger. We didn't really relate it to anything much more scientific than that. 

[00:10:05] Chris Van Tulleken: We didn't think there was a different type of food available in the states in greater quantities. And Xand, it turned out, was eating, you know, a diet approaching, you know, 80, 90% of ultra processed food for a really long time. 

[00:10:20] Jonathan Wolf: So it is amazing. I remember one of the, because you know I'm not an identical twin or any sort of twin, and I remember when Tim was explaining to me this, first of all, it is amazing because identical twins are sort of like the. Experiments, right? Where you've got two individual with the same genes and the same upbringing, and then different things happen to them in their life, particularly, you know, after they're 18 and you see the difference. 

And you know, Tim was obviously talking about much broader set than just you and Xand, but the way that you could see these like really big differences and. And then his, in his experiments, get to the point where, you know, in laboratory conditions, feed identical twins, exactly the same food, and see these really different responses in their blood. 

And this was the thing that really triggered this idea of, of ZOE really, and about being able to turn that into large scale and, and personalization. And so I, you know, I think it's fascinating to then, you know, to be talking about this as, as an example because for me it was, it was a big part of what. 

Created this podcast. So it's fun to have you on the podcast because I think that that meeting with Tim and the 12,000 other Twins is sort of what made this podcast ever happen. 

[00:11:23] Chris Van Tulleken: It's quite cool to be, I hadn't, I don't think I'd quite understood that I was, I'm a tiny part of the genesis story of this. I love that.

[00:11:30] Tim Spector: Yeah. Not just the tiny part. Quite a big part because it was those exceptions to the rule that for me was my aha moment in. You know, in my, in the career of thinking, well, a, it's not, you can't say it's all genetics. And then B, seeing these really great examples, like you and your brothers trying to say, well, I've gotta find out why. 

You know, because it's not genes and I discovered it probably wasn't just epigenetics. And so there must be something else. And that really led me to the gut microbes and gut health and everything else sort of followed because once you've got that, then you start thinking about food in another different way to the old-fashioned way. 

And we start getting back to, you know, thing that's now interested you, food quality and, and all this. And it's, yeah, it's, it's these amazing natural experiments that you and your brother. 

[00:12:25] Chris Van Tulleken: and if, if you could do an experiment, a great thing to do would be to take some identical twins and leave one genetic half of them in the UK and move the others to Boston that would, that would be a nice experiment. So Xand and I unwittingly did this for Tim. Oh, that's lovely. 

I didn't kind of know that, but it's nice, nice to understand my place in the, in the Spector narrative. 

[00:12:46] Tim Spector: Thanks very much. 

[00:12:48] Jonathan Wolf: And Chris, I'm assuming that part of the reason that this really struck you, it wasn't just, oh, my twin is overweight. You were worried about the consequences that came with that weight gain. Is that right? 

[00:12:58] Chris Van Tulleken: I mean, he got covid during the pandemic. We were making, I was working in the hospital at UCLH. We were making a documentary where he was out doing public health stuff and I was with the infectious diseases team. And he came in because his heart was in a, a strange rhythm, and we had to, my team had to stop his heart and restart it because the covid had given him this, this, this heart problem and that, that it happened again and again and again. 

And eventually he needed an operation. But that was almost, I mean, In so far as we can know, and Tim would, Tim would have a very good view on this, but probably because he was so much bigger than me. So there was a, there was a thing where, you know, he's, we are terribly close, you know, he's my, he's my best friend, and I would, I would, there's a moment where you, you're sort of watching his heart being restarted. 

I feel, actually I'm welling up a bit, but, it was, yeah, it became a real emergency that he'd been. He'd been the funny one and he, he didn't look bad and it wasn't affecting his career, cuz because it doesn't, but yeah, it became a, a, a problem in the family. So, so there was, there was just a very acute reason, but I'd been, this was the focus of an argument for, for a decade. 

I'd been nagging him and Tim, I remember Tim saying, when we made this documentary, you know, expressing some surprise, there was this very big difference between us and i, I had tried to use that as leverage for a 

[00:14:22] Tim Spector: think I, I said something horrible like you were disgrace to your genes, didn't I? That sort of it was, which is very unsympathetic at the time. I re regret to, 

[00:14:31] Chris Van Tulleken: We were in a different national conversation about weight and stigma. And actually the quote, you're a disgrace to your genes became the centerpiece of the trailer of the promotional material. Cuz it was such a powerful idea that someone was, had these genes that, that clearly with the same genes, I wasn't gaining weight. So what was it that Xand was doing?

[00:14:52] Jonathan Wolf: And I think that's not something you would say today, right, Tim? 

[00:14:54] Tim Spector: No, absolutely not. No. 

[00:14:55] Jonathan Wolf: That tells you something about the journey. And actually I think it's a brilliant transition to talking about, you know, the topic in, in your book and a topic that Tin talks about all the time, right? Which is ultra processed food and more broadly how the, the food is having this direct effect. 

Could we maybe just start at the beginning? So, you know, I think many people have no idea, and we did a little poll actually, like nobody really understands what ultra processed food is versus processed food versus food. Chris, you know, could you maybe, Start by just helping us to understand very simply, like what is ultra processed food? 

[00:15:28] Chris Van Tulleken: So there's this long formal scientific definition cuz it's, it's a category of food that that was developed. To do research with, to study diet, and its effects on health. But it boils down to if it's wrapped in plastic and it contains at least one ingredient that you don't typically find in a domestic kitchen, then it's ultra processed food. 

So that's the, that's the shorthand way of, of figuring it out. And we. This was a definition that was developed by a group in Brazil in 2010, and since then we've had now over a decade of really, really good increasingly robust research, including a, a, a very good clinical trial that has linked ultrapro food to early death, cancer weight gain, and a whole host of other, other problems. 

[00:16:13] Jonathan Wolf: I think this is the Nova classification. Is that right? That you're referencing? Could maybe the two of you help to sort of step us through a little bit? From stuff that I think we all feel pretty comfortable isn't processed cuz it's like a fruit or something. You know, you're eating it completely off as it came off the tree to the other end. 

Where I think we all sort of know that if it's got 50 ingredients in it and it's bright yellow and it lives for a hundred years and you can delete it, that's. Probably at the AL process end, and I think we're all deeply confused about everything, which is like 95% of what we eat right, which is somewhere in between. 

Could you, could you maybe just help us to step through, so I think they have a few classifications, don't they, to, to help us understand a bit more, how that works. So, 

[00:16:55] Chris Van Tulleken: I would say that the boundary between ultra processed food and just processed food, which we think is fine, is quite a blurry one. And particularly in the UK we have a huge number of products where you can buy a lasagna, lots of places, and it's, it's wrapped in plastic, but the ingredients, while it's a long list, there'll be nothing you wouldn't have in a, in a normal kitchen there. 

And there are these questions about, well, is that ultra processed or not? And I think this is the discussion that a lot of people who've read my book, come to me with this game, what about this product? Is this okay? And those products, in the sense, are the most interesting because. The classification system wasn't invented to decide about one particular sausage roll or another, but there is the, the shorthand of the ingredient is, is a pretty useful one. 

If it, if it has an additive that you don't typically find in your kitchen, then I think it's useful to say it's ultra processed. I find. For me, what I'm interested in and, and I think there will be some of your listeners who are living with significant obesity or living with a diet related disease, and they may want to take an approach of abstinence. 

And so for those people having a definition that allows them to exclude this entire category from their diet would be useful. And I think it is possible to do that. And my role of thumb is if I'm in doubt, it is ultra processed. If you are wondering about this biscuit or this lasagna or this bread, It probably is, but one of the arguments that the food industry is starting to mount, and there's a huge opposition to my book and to a lot of my work by the food industry is that, well, humans have been processing food for millions of years, and this is absolutely true since we first cut a chunk of meat off a mammoth and we started cooking. 

Probably over a million years ago. That is food processing and we've been pounding and grinding and extracting and salting and smoking and all this has been happening for hundreds of thousands of years and it seems to be fine, but ultra processing is a very different thing. Ultra processing is about taking, broadly taking traditional foods and designing them with the cheapest possible ingredients to be very hard to stop eating and doing that for profit. And that's the very important part of the definition is ultra processing is about profit. It's not about nourishment. 

[00:19:14] Tim Spector: And I think giving some examples here is useful. So cheese is a processed food. Okay? So we are not talking about those as being problematic cuz virtually all our food is to some extent processed, but. But it's, it's when you are replacing the natural ingredients with the extracts of other foods and extracts of chemicals to mimic the original foods, using what we call, you know, edible, industrially produced food like substance. 

And I think it's that substitution of this 

[00:19:52] Jonathan Wolf: I was just laughing cause I feel like food-like substance. I was like, I don't really want to eat food-like substance do I? I'd rather eat food 

[00:19:58] Tim Spector: And it's exactly right. So it's you have these ingredients you wouldn't recognize in your, your kitchen. They're all there to make that food seem like the original as much as possible, but using the cheapest possible group of ingredients that allow you to manipulate it, give it a massively long shelf life and make you overeat it. And so that's, that's really where we are. And the food industry doesn't want a definition of it, because that would make it very easy for them to, you know, be criticized. So they're always countering these discussions with saying ahha. You know, as you, we've got some examples of something that isn't, and you are saying it is, but it, it's quite easy to define. 

I would say 98% of, of foods in this way. There are maybe a couple of percent that we can argue over, but. 

[00:20:50] Jonathan Wolf: So I, I think what you're saying is that there's this sort of clear scientific definition though relatively recent and I know from our own work there's probably. Still more work to make that better, but it's quite complex and so this is a sort of simple, sort of rule of thumb, if you like, as a way to say, I'm, I'm navigating the grocery store, you know, the shop as a way to under or my fridge to understand what is ultra processed. 

[00:21:14] Chris Van Tulleken: And Tim gave the example of cheese as a, as a brilliant example of a processed food that for a long time we've thought was a bit unhealthy. Butter also works as an example cuz butter is something we made probably eight, 8,000 years ago, six, seven, 8,000 years ago. Margarine was the first probably mass produced ultra processed food. 

You know, there was short, solid fat shortening, and it was a way of turning waste oils, cotton seed oil, into an edible product that you could put in the human food chain and generate enormous value from. And so fake butters, margarine's essentially were. The first set of these synthetic foods where almost all the molecules in the food product are synthesized, and we've never encountered molecules quite like this before. 

[00:22:02] Jonathan Wolf: And is that a very important part of the story? That these are, you know, new chemicals, if you like, that our body hasn't been exposed to for thousands of years that our microbes haven't exposed to? Is that, is that a very important part of the story, or this is not clear?

[00:22:18] Tim Spector: Well, I think it's an emerging part of it. I don't. I don't think we've studied it well enough. And until recently we just assumed that these chemicals were inert. So the food industry tells us that, oh, like Saccharin is completely inert. Zero calories. Just passes through your body, straight out in the toilet. 

You don't have to worry about it. Absolutely perfect. And that's been the general theme of these industrial produce chemicals and most of the artificial sweeteners, for example, come from the petrol industry. So they're not made of anything you'd eat. You know, they're made in laboratories and I don't think we know the answer to many of these things, but I think it's, it's quite likely that these do have long-term consequences. 

We just haven't studied them properly. But it's, it's just, I think one part of the, the story, it's not just those substances, it's other things which we're still beginning to understand. 

[00:23:12] Jonathan Wolf: So, we can unpack more in a second then. I think just before moving on, we did, we did a little survey of the ZOE community. On social media to ask how much ultra processed food they believe they ate. And interestingly, 84% said they eat little or no ultra processed food. And my question is, is that typical and is it possible they might be eating more ultra processed food than they realize? 

[00:23:38] Chris Van Tulleken: Are your community lying to you? 

[00:23:42] Chris Van Tulleken: I think we trust the ZOE community. I'll 

[00:23:44] Jonathan Wolf: I think they're telling you what they think is the the right answer. 

[00:23:46] Tim Spector: They're probably healthier than the average. I think this is UK population. People who listen to this podcast, more health conscious, so you might expect. The official figures of 57% of the calories eaten in the UK are ultra processed is the the latest data. 

[00:24:01] Jonathan Wolf: And in the US is? 

[00:24:03] Tim Spector: over 60, over 60%, and for children it's higher. 

So we think 10% more in children. So the average person is gonna have, you know, more than half their calories that way. So it's, it's slightly different question how many of your calories are that way, or I never have them, but it, I think that is an underestimate, and I think people, I don't think they're that healthy. 

I think it's very difficult to avoid ultra processed foods if you know. What all of them are. And it may be that these people don't realize that in the morning when they drink their orange juice and they have their Mosley and they, they have other breakfast cereals, for example, or, or their instant porridge, they're eating ultra processed foods. 

[00:24:46] Jonathan Wolf: That's amazing. So breakfast cereal is an ultra processed food. 

[00:24:49] Chris Van Tulleken: I would say most, almost all commercially available breakfast cereals are ultra processed. Almost all supermarket bread is ultra processed. Almost all flavored yogurts are, and the, the, the areas they might be not noticing their consumption would be, you know, the very typical lunches that we go and have in the UK, lunches, a packet of crunchy things. 

It might be some popcorn, a sandwich and a drink, and particularly if you get it from the fancy shops, and we can all n n know the names of them. They're widely available up and down the country that's still all ultra processed. It all contains malted, Dexter, and dextro. The bread is full of emulsifiers. There are flavorings. 

[00:25:28] Jonathan Wolf: so even the sandwich that you might think is like, it's just bread and like this plain, 

[00:25:32] Chris Van Tulleken: It might be a vegan falafel, organic whole grain, but it, the bread will contain emulsifiers and the, the condiments particularly will contain thickness or 

[00:25:42] Tim Spector: Even if it looks brown, cuz it's been dyed brown, it makes it looks like a granary healthy seedy loaf. Generally it's been made to look exactly that, but underneath it, it's full of these chemicals. So yes, I think many people don't realize the extent to which they're surrounded by staff. Even with healthy veneers, anything that says it's healthy on the packet is nearly by definition, unhealthy. 

[00:26:06] Chris Van Tulleken: It's a great rule of thumb that isn't it? If there's a health claim on the packet, it is almost certainly ultra processed. 

[00:26:12] Jonathan Wolf: I read that in your book. I loved it cuz I thought for a minute and I was like, that's actually so true. Every time these things 

[00:26:19] Chris Van Tulleken: said, I haven't found an exception to 

[00:26:20] Jonathan Wolf: high protein or the one that actually my personal experience, cuz I've been looking at this a lot more over the last year as, as, as you guys have been talking about this more is sort of sugar free. 

And no added sugar, which I think like most consumers, that sounds really good. I'm buying this from my little girl who's three, for example. You know, that sounds like the right thing. It's sugar free or no added sugar. And now started to learn to turn over and look at the ingredients. And instead of seeing sort of three ingredients, you suddenly find 15. 

And it's stuff full of sweeteners and they haven't had to put on the top, like we put in lots of sweeteners instead of sugar, they've just said no added sugar or sugar free. So, you know, my favorite example of, because it's been the one that's been most shocking to me, is actually just looking, even at plain yogurt and plain yogurt should basically have milk in it, 

[00:27:08] Chris Van Tulleken: right? Mm-hmm. Milk and cultures. 

[00:27:09] Jonathan Wolf: amazing that I've now realized is that most of the plain yogurt you go and look at when you turn over, it's got like, Half a dozen or sometimes even 10 ingredients in it, and it's right next to the one that only has milk in it. And it's, it's impossible to tell. There's nothing on the, you know, until you actually go and look into the ingredients, they look the same. 

So there is a, there's a sense, I think, in which it's, it 

[00:27:33] Tim Spector: low fat, you're more likely to have fake yogurt than if it's full fat. 

[00:27:38] Jonathan Wolf: But there's something really hidden, I guess is what I'm saying about these ultra processed foods. So this seems to have happened without it being very visible to us. Is that right?

[00:27:45] Chris Van Tulleken: That's completely right. And, and if you consider one of the things like the illusions of, of our sort of food supply system is that it exists to supply food to us, and that isn't the way it works. It exists to extract money from us. And so low fat yogurt, the genius of low fat yogurt is you can sell your yogurt at a premium price because it doesn't have fat in it, and you can add a very cheap modified maze starch to give it a creamy feel or xantham gum, or a gua gum or locus bean gum, any of these gummy things that give a fatty mouth feel, and then some, some other stuff as well. Meanwhile, you've still got the fat, and you can then use the dairy fat, which is the highest price, commodity fat you can have to do all kinds of other things with, and you can extract some of the protein and put it into whey protein. 

You can put it into muscle drinks. So you've, you, you are adding much more value to your commodity milk by putting different aspects of it in the food chain. And so yogurt's this brilliant idea of repurposing waste and extracting more value, but none of it's done with an eye on our health. 

[00:28:48] Tim Spector: And most people still assume it's just because it's got high fat. Therefore, if I pick the low fat one, that's gonna be fine. And this is this huge, misunderstanding, cleverly done by the food companies as well. But also the scientists haven't really applied themselves to looking at this cuz they haven't. 

We've had this rather reductionist view of nutrition as I'm always going on about, you know, into calories in the macronutrients, which misses the whole point. 

[00:29:16] Jonathan Wolf: Reductionst meaning like I just think about it as a set of individual components?

[00:29:19] Tim Spector: Yep, food is simple. Yeah. You only have, if you understand the calories, you know the fat content, the sugar content, you don't really have to worry about anything else, and that's what's got into this huge mess. Where we are so ignorant about food that we treat it all the same, and therefore we can slip into this. 

The majority of our food being this poor quality, ultra processed ed, industrially made edible stuff that has ticks the right boxes and has health claims on the front is actually killing us and causing us all kinds of problems that isn't related to those. Macronutrients, it's all the other chemicals that Chris has been talking about, you know, these other extra bits that have been added and the effects they have on our body. 

And that epidemiology, which by itself is never quite enough, has been added to by this, clinical trial, which, done by Kevin Hall of the NIH, which I mean, you can. Describe in more detail exactly what that, but that was a real game changer. That was about three years ago, and just giving people process ultra processed food and the identical equivalent in calories and macronutrients of properly made food that had some really shocking results even to the people who did the study. 

[00:30:40] Chris Van Tulleken: I mean, the question you're asking is so important. Is ultra processed food just fatty, salty, sugary food? Is it just what we usually think of as a junk? And in fact, one of the papers Tim's, I think referencing is produced by my PhD student, a guy called Sam Dicken at UCL, and he did an analysis where you can do These statistical controls when you look at all the data and go, yeah, but what if we account for fat and salt and sugar and fiber and dietary pattern, and in every single case, whether they were looking at early death or cancer or strokes, or heart attacks or dementia. In every case, when you make that adjustment, the effect remains the same, in other words. 

It's the processing. It isn't those nutrient contents. And Tim talks about, you know, we think of diet as simple and that's, I mean, he, I think you've been the person who's, who's sort of influenced our national thinking about this more than anyone else. There's this incredible statistic that we've never been able to extract any molecule from any whole food and find that it has a benefit. 

In healthy people. So we know that walnuts are good for us. Whole grains are good for us. Mediterranean diets are good for us. Vegetables are good for us, fruits are good for us. But if you extract the lycopene or the, you know, the, the molecules from red wine or, or the, the vitamins and you give them to healthy people, they don't have a health benefit. 

So food as a complex substance is really health giving and life giving for all the reasons that your listeners will know, but the individual nutrients are not what make it healthy or it turns out what make it unhealthy. So when you make a lasagna at home, you can make a salty fatty, even sugary lasagna. 

And it will not have the same effect on your physiology or your health or your brain or your risk of heart disease, as if you go and buy a very similar sounding and ingredient lasagna from your local supermarket wrapped in plastic. And that's the, the genius of the scientists who came up with this definition was to realize that those, those two foods would be different. 

[00:32:39] Jonathan Wolf: And Chris, cuz we talked 

[00:32:40] Chris Van Tulleken: I didn't talk about Kevin Hall. Sorry, I didn't 

[00:32:42] Jonathan Wolf: Tell us about Kevin Hall

[00:32:43] Tim Spector: The Kevin Hall study I think was this real game changing study. Yeah. Cuz he didn't believe the results would show anything. I think that was the really Yeah. Cool bit. He was actually not a believer in this until he did the study and he had these two groups of people who were basically locked in a hospital for, for two weeks. 

They couldn't escape. They were given these, these food regimes and amazingly they liked both equally. 

[00:33:09] Chris Van Tulleken: That's such a crucial detail, is they didn't prefer the ultra processed food. 

[00:33:14] Tim Spector: And so the, and one lot, so they're eating these ones identical calories, identical macronutrients, you know, reasonable. They added fiber to the ultra process to, to sort of give it a bit more oomph so it wasn't, you know, obviously unhealthy and the key point. I think was that they noticed that the ultra process group kept going back for seconds and over the course of a day, on average, they were eating an extra 500 kilo calories a day. 

And I think this to my mind is, you know, as you've got all the, these individual chemicals, but together, This effect on the brain and the appetite system. And it explains why, you know, we've all, we've got much, we've ga all gained weight. We're putting on fat all the time, gain more diabetes. And we can't explain that with really the amount of calories we are eating overall. 

you know that, and that just shows you that these foods are designed. To make people overeat, to overcome our natural appetite fullness signals in the brain. 

[00:34:20] Chris Van Tulleken: For the book. I spoke to loads of people within the food industry and when I kind of tried to see it from their perspective and they all said the same thing, which is, In the UK for a very long time. We've had enough food. If you are gonna make money and generate particularly growth as a food company, you have to sell more and more and more food. 

You have to make food that people cannot stop eating. And through, through kind of, we started making this food in in bulk in the fifties and the sixties, the seventies. And since then, this food has been. Iterated through, marketing development, back to the lab, tasting trials, focus groups, and every year this happens. 

And so the food, it, it's not being done in, in an evil way or a cynical way. It's just if you're a breakfast cereal company and you've got box A and box B, And your tasting group eats 5% more of box A. That's the one that goes to market. And then you do the same the next year and the next year. And so over 50 years, you find that whether it's lasagna, your breakfast cereal, your cake, your buns, it all becomes impossible to stop eating. 

[00:35:24] Jonathan Wolf: You described a bit like you might be describing like, something to a gambler like, you know, the, the slots machine that's getting more and more addictive with more bells and whistles and higher prizes step by step. Is that actually how you're thinking about it? 

[00:35:39] Chris Van Tulleken: I, I dunno about Tim Tim's thinking on this. Food addiction's been very unfashionable scientifically for a long time because the, the problem with saying something's addictive is the only solution is abstinence. We know that moderation doesn't work for any addiction and you can't be abstinent from food. 

One of the really nice things about the ultra processed foods definition is that, Aside from the fact that it's the only food many people can afford, it's the only available food for many people, at least in theory, you can quit it. And the research I think, is very persuasive. And I, I went into writing the book, feeling a little bit skeptical about the addiction side of things. 

I was very persuaded by a lot of the research that shows that for people who experience food addiction, the ultra processed foods they're addicted to are as addictive as cigarettes, drugs of abuse or alcohol. And I would say that was true of me. So I, I have definitely had a relationship with certain ultra processed foods that was pathological, that was addicted. 

[00:36:36] Jonathan Wolf: And I, I, I wanna sort of, I don't wanna leave this without asking. About your mad scientist experiment of one, because it made me think about those things when you discover people like discovering smallpox. Inoculations. So Chris, you decided to do an experiment on yourself for 30 days of, I think 80% at least of your food as ultra processed. 

[00:36:56] Chris Van Tulleken: That's right, and I did it. We, it was an experiment of one, but we did it quite formally. So I did it with a group that I now work with at UCL, and we did it to generate pilot data for a very big experiment, a clinical trial that we're now running. So it wasn't just a one off sort of completely mad cap thing. 

I ate an 80% ultra processed diet, which is a very typical diet for a teenager in this country. Very typical diet. One in one in five adults eats 80% of their calories. So I had a washout period for six weeks, and then I just ate what I wanted, but with 80% of my calories coming from ultra processed food. 

And what happened? So I gained a huge amount of weight in one month. I gained so much weight that if I continue. If I'd continued for the whole year, I would've doubled my body weight. But there were, there were two other kind of main effects that were surprising. One was the satiety hormone effects. 

So we saw that in just a month. My response to eating a large meal completely changed that I could say that I didn't feel hungry. And obviously that would be great to write in a book, but you can't fake your blood hormone levels, so a big meal. Didn't generate the same hormonal responses it had previously. 

And the other thing I had was an MRI and I, I dunno what Tim would've said if I'd asked him a, a, a couple of years ago, but I thought, we are not gonna see any MRI changes on a brain scan stand up four week intervals with a diet that's completely normal. And we saw very, very significant changes in the connectivity between the reward addiction, bits of my brain and the habit bits of my brain.

[00:38:26] Jonathan Wolf: Wow, in four weeks, your brain literally was rewiring. 

[00:38:30] Chris Van Tulleken: and we did it, the neuroscientists at Queens Square. So we weren't, we're not doing this in an amateur way. We're doing this with a big team at Queens Square of people who do functional MRI imaging. And we did it six weeks later cuz they were so surprised in that the changes had, had stayed the same. 

So, If this is happening to a man in the early forties doing this for one month, and I previously ate about 30% UPF, what is this doing to children who possibly from birth eating 80 90% UPF for the first two decades of their life, 

[00:39:00] Jonathan Wolf: Well, that's terrifying. So I would love to talk, you know, at the end here about what people can do. So could food manufacturers start making ultra processed food that was healthy? And what can listeners do who are listening to this and say, okay, that's all very scary. What are the practical things that I could do that would really improve my health? 

[00:39:19] Chris Van Tulleken: So the first question, can food manufacturers sort of hyper process the food to make it more healthy? One of the things we know about U P F is it's soft and it's energy dense, and we know that those two qualities of the food mean that you consume calories quicker than essentially your hormone response can keep up and make you feel full. 

Now, we've known about soft energy, dense food since the 1990s. If the food industry could. Make the food chewier and less energy dense and it would still sell as well. They would've done it by now cause they could make an incredible health claim. The reason the food is soft and energy dense, it's not an accident of the processing, it's because that's the food that sells incredibly well. 

Similarly, artificial sweetness. Similarly, all the gums replacing fats. We've been hyper processing already, ultra processed food now for, you know, since the early eighties we've been replacing fats with, with corn, starch and gums. So I am very pessimistic. That they can, they can further modify this food. 

To be honest, I don't think reformulation is gonna work, and to some extent w why should we do that? We, we know the food, we have very robust data that the food that is associated with weight loss, and with health benefits across the spectrum, it exists. You don't need to go and invent it. It's out there. 

It's just terribly expensive and inaccessible for people. So instead of focusing our energies on reformulation, we should be thinking, what is wrong with our world? That people with low incomes are unable to afford real food? 

[00:40:51] Tim Spector: I agree with all that and I mean, 

[00:40:54] Chris Van Tulleken: few 

[00:40:55] Tim Spector: I had, there was a, a good example of a, I spoke to a beer manufacturer who added fiber to beer thought was a great idea that actually you could have a healthy beer. And, well, don't laugh. You know, there, there are worse things. So beer is relatively only mildly processed, so add a bit of fiber to it. Okay. This would be healthy. Turned out people drank less once they had it, so they had to abandon it. So, 

[00:41:24] Chris Van Tulleken: oh, because it, it left them feeling full, right? 

[00:41:27] Tim Spector: they had 10% less than they would of the other beer. So even though they charged a premium, they were gonna lose it. So this is, this is exactly what, you were talking about. 

There's a disincentive to health for the companies to actually improve them. So you'd 

[00:41:42] Jonathan Wolf: I'm a consumer then, so then I'm thinking like the manufacturers aren't gonna solve this for me, is what you're saying.

[00:41:47] Tim Spector: No, so government could, they could say we want some minimum standards here, but they won't because the lobbying and you know, the corruption in government is not gonna happen anytime soon. And they want to keep the prices low because they worry about people rebelling and the nanny state, et cetera. So you are not gonna change that very easily. 

But I think for the consumer, the consumer should demand, at least there is proper food labeling and there are warnings. We know these foods now are unhealthy, so let's not allow them to have, health benefit stickers on there saying, you know, source of fiber and source of protein and source of vitamin C when we know that's nonsense. 

They shouldn't be allowed, that they should have health warning stickers. So this food contains ingredients that are not healthy for you and will make you overeat. Nothing wrong with that. And that's why in a way, I'm, I'm happier for people to drink Coca-Cola than orange juice. Cuz at least when you're drinking Coca-Cola, you know 

[00:42:53] Chris Van Tulleken: You know what you're getting 

[00:42:53] Tim Spector: You know what you're getting. Orange juice. 

It comes with various things about fiber and vitamin C that are very misleading and it's just giving a massive sugar spike. So I think that's what. I would argue that consumer should go for is in the first instance, at least, proper labeling, proper health and not allow them to have all these benefits and part of your fiber day and all this sort of nonsense that you see. 

But the consumer, you know, needs to understand these foods and you know, really. Books like Chris's make people understand what we are eating and what real food looks like, and doing more cooking and having more things available. And we need to start in our institutions, in our schools, in our hospitals, we need to just, you know, say no to this epidemic of ultra processed food, which is killing us. 

[00:43:45] Chris Van Tulleken: When I was, when I was on my diet, I had this incredibly powerful experience where I spoke to some scientists in Brazil and they just kept underlining all the things the food was doing. To me, and I sat down that evening to eat some, some fried chicken wings and I could not eat them. And so my invitation to people in the book is Eat Along with me. 

It's a bit, I mean, it's very, it's unashamedly like the quit smoking book where you smoke while you read, which is a very well evidence book. There's load of research on it, and it's a World Health Organization endorsed book. So my invitation is do the experiment. You are already being experimented on. 

We've, we've, all the food companies are doing the experiment to us eat along and most people find. As they eat the food, they start realizing the lies the food is telling them and it becomes disgusting. That's an individual solution. The solutions for government. Exactly as Tim is saying, we know we need to think about labeling. 

I would say the number one thing to do is to put it in the national nutrition guidance is to, is to say, ultra processed food is associated with health harms. Once it's in our guidance, we can all point to it and legislation can follow and everyone will know. 

[00:44:50] Tim Spector: And six countries have done that already. But, as usual, the UK is dragging its feet because of the food lobby. But you know, you've already got most of the South American countries. You got Israel, France, France now 

[00:45:04] Chris Van Tulleken: Canada will, even the States might. 

[00:45:07] Tim Spector: but yeah, we are again in the UK lagging so far behind and it's, it's a political issue. 

[00:45:14] Jonathan Wolf: I wanna ask one final question here, which is, cause a lot of this, I think is about what, you know, government might do, and so as an individual there's, there's a limit about what you can influence. Let's say you're listening to this one option is obviously read the book and overdose on food and give up, but let's say you are just listening to like, you know what, I would like to cut down. 

But I'd like some guidance, like where should I be? Where should I start today? If I'm listening to this, and I'd really like to get to this like low level of ultra processed, what, what would you advise someone who's listening to this right, right now for sort of practical advice? 

[00:45:45] Tim Spector: start with breakfast because everyone is in, generally in charge of their breakfast. You may not be in when you go to work or you're traveling, whatever. Most people start the day and you know, They've got choices. They can skip breakfast as some people do and just have a tea or a coffee. Or they can say, I'm not gonna have any breakfast cereal units, which 90, the 95% of which are ultra processed. 

That would be a reasonable start. Don't have supermarket bread because that's also ultra processed. Don't have yogurt with anything added to it that isn't totally pure. And just by those. That would probably reduce your level of ultra processing by about a third. 

[00:46:31] Chris Van Tulleken: I love that idea that lunch when you're at, if I'm in the hospital it is and I want to eat a meal for lunch, it is impossible to not have an ultra processed meal. I can go to the fast food restaurants, I can go to the hospital canteen. It's all ultra processed. But breakfast, you're right. Normally at home, most of us have breakfast at home. 

We can read the ingredients list. We know what we're buying. I love that. 

[00:46:54] Tim Spector: So it's a good start, but you know, and the rest, and take your own food into work. I think that's the other thing. And you see, I know having worked in other countries, it's much more common for people to take last night's meal in a, in a little container, and that's their lunch for the next day. They know exactly what they're eating. 

They're not relying on some third party to feed them in a healthy way, which we know we, we are gonna be tricked in this country. So I think it's just changing some habits and. Not buying these snacks and these, these other things that we've become so dependent on just because we think, you know, they look natural and tasty or they've, you know, they've been around for 20 years. 

[00:47:31] Chris Van Tulleken: and I think fastidiously read your ingredients lists. You will start once you, once you are into the idea, you have to look at the ingredients. You just start seeing all these things there, and you start asking why your mono and diacetyl tartaric acid of fatty of mono and diglycerides, the date and why the emulsifiers are in there. 

Why are the preservatives in there? What is oligo fructose? And just asking those questions starts to make the food a bit weirder and less palatable. Why is there mango kernel fat in my biscuit? Not that mango kernel fat is per se, necessarily harmful, but it should force you to ask a question about what the purpose of that biscuit is. 

And the purpose is not to nourish you. The purpose is to extract money from you and to commodify your ill health. 

[00:48:19] Jonathan Wolf: I think that this is one of the most shocking areas that we've been discussing in, in the podcast, and partly that's also because I know when I. First met Tim, which was about six years ago. He didn't talk very much about ultra processed food. He was talking enormously about the microbiome and about like real food. 

But what I've noticed is that it's something that Tim, you are talking a lot more about. And so I think that shows you sort of the, the way in which the science is moving fast and the focus on the ultra processing rather than just like not having fiber. Is that, am I ?

[00:48:57] Tim Spector: Exactly. It's, it's not just the absence of things or too much of the bad things. It's actually the, the whole processing is, has suddenly become, The the crucial factor, and it's only because of this recent science that's overcome all the pressure of the food industry, which is designed to make us not look in that direction and steer us away from that with all their labels and added vitamins and stuff like this, all their smoke screen. 

It's only now that we've, we're able to see exactly what's happening. It's only now really we can, we've had a chance to take action against it and, and educate people. So it really is a very topical subject. You know, we've been dancing around the edges thinking there's something not quite right here about all this stuff, but we haven't really been a put a finger on it now we absolutely can and we can do something about it. 

[00:49:46] Jonathan Wolf: And can I ask one final question? Cuz Tim, you said right back in the quickfire questions, can you undo the damage from ultra processed food if you stop eating it? And you, you said you thought Yes. What would you be saying? Cause there'll be a lot of people listening to this who are a bit scared now, they'll feel like, well that's basically what I've been eating for a long time. 

Is there any, you know, am I stuck? Is it all too late? 

[00:50:06] Tim Spector: It's not too late. I think everyone can improve their health. I'm particularly looking at the, from the angle of the gut microbiome, which I think is key to our long-term health and re-educating them, those guys, how to eat real food. Again, for people who've been on ultra processed foods, diets, you know, they've had abnormal microbes because of the, the sweeteners, the emulsifier, the preservatives, all these other chemicals in there. 

Giving off the wrong signal so there's still time to reeducate your gut microbes. Feed them real plants. Get them diversity. Get them eating fermented foods. Eat the rainbow and stop snacking. All these things will improve your gut microbes, which will improve your health and counteract those years of ultra processed foods. 

We don't yet know how much you can. Regain, but we do know it can improve. And I, I know some examples, you know, with my, my son who had his, his intensive ultra processed food diet, you know, he still hasn't, recovered, but he's, he's still better than where he was. And so I think we should be optimistic and say, get our gut microbes back on track, feed them the right things and our health will follow. 

And hopefully most people will benefit. 

[00:51:22] Chris Van Tulleken: Will my hair grow back? 

[00:51:24] Tim Spector: Absolutely... not. 

[00:51:27] Chris Van Tulleken: Oh, 

[00:51:28] Tim Spector: Sorry. Well, it depends what you put on it

[00:51:30] Chris Van Tulleken: You were meant to say you've got a full head of hair, Chris. That was the correct answer. 

[00:51:33] Jonathan Wolf: I think that is a beautiful point at which to wrap up. I'm gonna try and summarize. We've gone in a lot of different directions and I also think it's clearly a topic we're gonna come back to. I think on a number of occasions. Cause you can see how much this is brand new science when you're both talking about these papers that are just in the last couple of years. 

But I think we start off by saying, People are eating a lot more of these ultra processed foods than, than they've realized, you know, more than half of all the calories in the US and the UK. But people are often thinking they're eating a lot less because often these ultra processed foods are sort of hidden. 

You know, you can see it in the ingredients, but you just wouldn't be able to tell that there's some very complicated scientific definitions of ultra processed food. But fundamentally, And does it contain things you wouldn't have in your kitchen that are therefore somehow like chemically produced in order to achieve something for the properties of the food. 

So it's not processing itself that's bad. We've been doing that for as long as we've been had fire, but we are doing something very different in the last, you know, 50, 70 years. There's really good evidence that this is impacting our health now, and that's not just because it's, you're eating more calories. 

It's not just because of sugar or fat. Actually, the ultra processed food itself seems to be linked to, it sounded like almost everything we don't like from dementia to depression, to obesity. There's been some debate it sounds like, about whether it's truly addictive, but certainly in terms of the behavior that it's driving. 

And I love Chris, your description of this experiment for yourself. Like it's really that your hunger hormones are falling, so you're just wanting more of this. So the net result is driving just much more consumption. Yet again, showing that sort of this calorie counting thing doesn't really make sense because actually, you know, different calories affecting what you then eat, afterwards. 

I think you both basically believe there isn't a food manufacturing solution to this. We can't go to even more artificial food to make it healthy. We sort of gotta reverse out of this because they're just taking away all these elements of the food that aren't we're used to having, and somehow they're replacing it with all these things, whereas we don't fully understand exactly the ways they're working, whether. 

It's through the microbiome, whether it's through, you know, spikes and things, but somehow we have to get out of that. It's not, it sounds like it's not easy to get out from where we are. Right. You're saying this is a huge part of our food ecosystem. But at a minimum we should be demanding really clear labeling. 

We should be saying that ultra processed food is bad, and that means that you would then start to have government guidelines against it. Pretty terrifying stuff about children where you were saying maybe ninety or a hundred percent of their food is ultra processed, and that's obviously, we all worry so much about our children, right? 

And I think I love, however, a little bit of sunshine at the very end. This was a slightly depressing podcast I think, compared to some, which is maybe think about ways you predict. Well start with breakfast. You know, think about swapping out, if you're eating breakfast cereal, actually you might think you're doing something really healthy and you'll look at it and you'll be like, wow. 

So think about swapping that for stuff that isn't ultra processed. So you know, bread with only ingredients you would have in your kitchen, yogurt, these sorts of things. Taking food to work. So again, you know that you've got food that you can eat instead of most of us living in environments where it's very difficult not to. 

And I think the final thing, which, which for me has been the most shocking is just turn the food around and read the ingredients list and suddenly realize that many of the things you thought were, you were doing really well, you were maybe actually spending money on these things cuz you thought they were good for you. And realizing that actually they were ultra processed. 

[00:55:02] Chris Van Tulleken: That's an amazing summary. 

[00:55:04] Tim Spector: He's good at this, isn't he? 

[00:55:05] Jonathan Wolf: I try and pay attention, but thank you. 

[00:55:07] Chris Van Tulleken: I wanted to interject, but you hit every point, and this is like a communication lesson. My publicist is listening out there. I'll do it. I'll do that, Eddie, 

[00:55:15] Jonathan Wolf: Wonderful. Look, I, I really enjoyed that. Thank you both very, very much.

[00:55:19] Chris Van Tulleken: likewise. That was so interesting. Thanks. Thanks for having me on. I really, really enjoyed that. It's always good. I learn. I learn a lot coming on this. 

[00:55:26] Jonathan Wolf: Thank you Chris and Tim for joining me on ZOE Science & Nutrition today. If based on today's conversation, you're interested in an understanding exactly which foods in your diet are ultra processed and finding replacements, With foods personalized for you, then you may want to become a member of ZOE and get advice to reduce your risk of chronic health conditions. 

Your ZOE membership comes with a ZOE app where you can score millions of foods and meals to find out how good they are for you. You also get personalized meal and recipe recommendations based on the results of your at-home test and access to our nutrition coaches who provide scientifically backed nutrition advice on how to eat for your best health. 

If you're interested in learning more, head to join to get 10% off your purchase. As always, I'm your host, Jonathan Wolf. ZOE Science & Nutrition is produced by Yella Hewings-Martin, Richard Willin, and Alex Jones here at ZOE. See you next time.