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Podcast / Inside Food science
Podcast / Inside Food science

Can processed food affect your mental health?

In this episode of the Food Matters Live podcast, we investigate the potential link between mental health and ultra-processed foods.

The term ‘processed food’ encompasses more than you might think. From grinding wheat to cooking an egg, processed just means altering a food in some way during preparation.

Ultra-processed foods are a bit different, usually altered beyond recognition and with plenty of additives thrown into the mix – there is not a part of a chicken called a nugget, for example.

Around the world, processed foods account for a large portion of what we eat.

According to one study, they now make up for roughly 55% of total food intake in the UK.

We have spoken on the podcast before about physical health and ultra-processed foods, but what about mental health?

Is there a link? What does the science say? And if there is a problem, how do we go about fixing it?

Kimberley Wilson, Chartered Psychologist and Author

Kimberley Wilson is a Chartered Psychologist, with a master’s degree in nutrition and the author of How to Build a Healthy Brain (2020) and Unprocessed (2023).

She has a private practice in Central London. Kimberley is a former Governor of the Tavistock & Portman NHS Mental Health Trust, where she led the therapy service at HMP & YOI Holloway, which at the time was Europe’s largest women’s prison.

Kimberley believes the way we think about mental health, as separate from physical health, is flawed. Her philosophy of Whole Body Mental Health is a comprehensive approach to mental health care; integrating evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle factors with psychological therapy with an emphasis on nutrition and the brain.

Passionate about the power of psychology to transform lives, Kimberley is committed to demystifying the theories and putting the information into the hands of the people who need it through social media, podcasts, television appearances, live events and regular appearances on expert panels.

Kimberley has written for BBC Science Focus and Psychologies Magazine, hosted the podcast Made of Stronger Stuff and the scientific segment of One Dish both on BBC Radio 4, appeared regularly on Lorraine ITV and been the featured mental health expert on several Channel 4 series and documentaries.

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