Another problem with ultra-processed foods is that people tend to overeat them, and thus gain weight. A recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found that subjects who ate an ultra-processed diet ate about 500 calories more per day than those whose diet was rich in whole foods.

“These foods are often filled with added sugars, salt, refined carbohydrates and fat,” says David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Conn. “The study itself found that people who ate ultra-processed foods tend to eat them faster and that they had lower levels of appetite-suppressing hormones than those who ate whole foods. As a result, they may have ended up eating more in order to feel satisfied.”