Eating More — Or Less — Of 10 Foods May Cut Risk Of Early Death

Written by arzepak

About half of all U.S. deaths from heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes are linked to poor diets, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

And eating more — or less — of just 10 types of food can help raise or lower the risk of death from these causes, the researchers found.

Scientists at Tufts University identified the foods that seem to contribute the most to the risk. At the top of the list? Salt. Consuming too much salt was associated with 9.5 percent of the deaths.

Next — and I sympathize with all of you who love to eat these — high intake of red meat and processed meats such as bacon was linked to 8 percent of the deaths. And sugary drinks were a factor in 7.4 percent of the deaths.

We know, it may be tough to cut back on foods you love. Bacon is so alluring to many that it has even been called the  for vegetarians!

But, here’s the flip side: The researchers also found there’s a significant risk in eating too little of certain healthy foods. So, think of it this way: You can start consuming more of the foods that are protective.

“The good news is that we now understand which foods we need to target to prevent Americans from dying prematurely from cardiometabolic diseases,” says lead study author Renata Micha, a public health nutritionist and epidemiologist at the Friedman School at Tufts University.

In 2012, about 700,000 Americans died from these diseases. Diet was linked to nearly 319,000 of these deaths. “This is a remarkable burden, nearly 1,000 deaths each day” linked to dietary habits, says senior study author Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School at Tufts.

So, changing Americans dietary habits could have a significant impact, the authors argue. “Our research suggests that nearly half of the risk can be reduced [by] eating a healthy diet,” Mozaffarian says.

The new analysis is based on data from the federal survey known as NHANES, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Researchers asked some 8,500 participants about their eating habits. In addition, Mozaffarian and his colleagues estimated associations of diet and disease from prior studies and clinical trials.

About the author


Leave a Comment