What we miss in food, kills us


“In many countries, poor diet now causes more deaths than tobacco smoking and high blood pressure”

Journal Lancet published lead author of a 27-year global diet analysis states that it’s not only just choosing unhealthy options as sugary sodas & red meat but also lack of healthy foods in our diets besides high levels of salt.

“While traditionally all the conversation about healthy diet has been focused on lowering the intake of unhealthy food, in this study, we have shown that, at the population level, a low intake of healthy foods is the more important factor, rather than the high intake of unhealthy foods”

In 2017, 11 million people – one in five deaths – occurred as a result of sodium besides lack of seeds, nuts, fruit & grains rather than diets packed with trans fats, high levels of meats & sugar-sweetened drinks.

“The findings of the paper will inform policy decisions that shape what food is available in Western countries, how it is marketed and potentially what it costs in the coming years”

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, funded Afshin & his colleagues to look at 15 dietary risk factors besides their impact on disability & death. High levels of processed & unhealthy red meats, trans fatty acids & salt, sugar-sweetened beverages all are health risks compared with effects of a diet low in healthy foods.

Healthy items included vegetables, whole grains, fruits, calcium, nuts & seeds, calcium, fiber, beans or legumes, polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids from seafood, vegetable oils.

Regardless salt, processed & red meats, sugary drinks & trans fats toward bottom risk chart.

Half of all global diet caused death in 2017 were results of 3 factors;

  1. eating too much salt
  2. not enough grains
  3. not enough fruit

Consortium released its “diet for a healthy planet,” last January which cuts red meat besides sugar consumption in half in addition to upping intake of vegetables, fruits & nuts prevent 11.6 million premature deaths with saving Earth.

“That’s a good claim. Studies are published every year on how we eat; however, the amount of data considered and the global representatives make this study worth attention. Risk rankings provide public policymakers with invaluable information on what dietary behaviors to target first”

For USA, Brazil, India, Pakistan, Russia, Nigeria, Egypt, Iran, Germany & Turkey, lack of whole grains was greatest risk factor eaten with little nutritional value & potential for high calorie counts.

“Whole grains are being included in ultra processed products that may be finely milled down and have added sodium, added free sugars and added saturated fats. I think we all need to be aware of this and not confuse the benefits from the more intact, minimally processed whole grains with what is often advertised as whole-grain products available today”



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