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Beat Chronic Illness by Ditching Ultra-Processed Foods + A Pantry Swap Cheat Sheet!

Beat Chronic Illness by Ditching Ultra-Processed Foods + A Pantry Swap Cheat Sheet!

In a groundbreaking BMJ study involving nearly 10 million people, a startling (although unsurprising) connection was unveiled: Ultra-Processed Foods (UPFs) are directly linked to the most common  chronic illnesses and leading causes of death.

From heart disease and cancer to diabetes and mental health disorders, these ultra processed foods may be playing a huge part in the chronic illness epidemic raging across our modern world.

With UPFs comprising nearly 60% of the average adult's daily calorie intake in the US — a figure that jumps to 70% for youths and teenagers, and 80% to those in lower income families, — the urgency for a societal shift of our eating habits has never been clearer.

The Ultra-Processed Predicament

Ultra-processed foods aren't just your typical processed items like canned vegetables or pasteurized dairy products.

These are foods transformed through industrial processes, packed with additives to extend their shelf life and enhance their appeal.

The price? Our health.

The intense processing involved not only strips away valuable nutrients but also introduces potentially harmful substances, from the toxic byproducts of high-heat cooking to leachates from packaging.

Additives like artificial sweeteners, colors, and emulsifiers have been linked to gut imbalances and systemic inflammation — key drivers of chronic diseases.

The largest study of its kind involving almost 10m people found that diets high in ultraprocessed food are linked to 32 harmful health effects including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, anxiety, depression, poor sleep quality, poor respiratory health, obesity, non alcoholic fatty liver disease, asthma, hypertension, and Crohns disease.

Examples of ultra-processed foods include: drinks and sweetened beverages, which are high in added sugars and artificial ingredients;

snack items like chips and cookies, often loaded with refined oils and preservatives;

ready-to-eat meals and frozen dishes that contain a myriad of additives to mimic the taste and texture of homemade food;

processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats, which are preserved with chemicals like sodium nitrate;

and instant noodles, characterized by their convenience and long shelf life but also their high sodium and preservative content.

These foods, while convenient and often palatable, are linked to various health concerns due to their high levels of sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium, along with a lack of essential nutrients.

The Swap Cheat Sheet: A Guide to a Healthier Pantry

Protein Powder / Smoothie Mix Swap:

  • Usual Pick: Highly processed protein powders with additives and artificial flavors.
  • Healthy Swap: mBreakfast Wild Harvested Organic Elixir Powder, a mix of adaptogenic herbs, functional mushrooms, organic grass-fed colostrum, and high-quality Icelandic sea salt. Flavor comes naturally from organic cacao and Tahitian vanilla bean.

Electrolyte Mix Swap:

  • Usual Pick: Electrolyte mixes loaded with synthetic minerals and artificial flavors.
  • Healthy Swap: mHydrate, featuring 100% organic ingredients like tart cherry and lemon juice powder, with no synthetic minerals, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners. A hydration booster packed with nutrients and real fruit flavor. Rich in natural electrolytes.

Refined Sugar Swap:

  • Usual Pick: Highly processed refined white sugar.
  • Healthy Swap: mNectar, sourced from organic Thai coconut blossoms. This low GI sweetener maintains its nutritional value and flavor thanks to a proprietary low-temp dehydration process, offering a healthier, mineral-rich alternative to spike your dishes with natural sweetness.


At Crucial Four, we stand against the tide of ultra-processed foods flooding our diets and jeopardizing our health.

Our mission is clear: to offer nutritious, nature-close supplements devoid of unnecessary additives and artificial flavors.

By making simple swaps in your pantry, you're taking a giant leap towards safeguarding your health and nurturing your body the way nature intended.

Let's embrace real food, minimize our intake of UPFs, and thrive on the wholesome goodness that only nature can provide.

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