I talk all the time about the importance of healthy eating habits and this study out of Tuffs University backs me up. Researchers looked at more than 700,000 deaths in 2012. They link poor diet to nearly half of all deaths from heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The researchers found Americans are getting too much salt and this was linked with nearly 10 percent of the deaths. Salt can increase your blood pressure and add stress to your arteries and heart. Other bad foods that are sugary drinks and processed meats like bacon and hot dogs. Also on the list is too much red meat like steaks and hamburgers. Many of these contain saturated fats which raise your cholesterol levels.
Great question! So it’s not just eating the wrong foods but also not getting enough of the right foods. Researchers found not eating enough nuts, seeds and seafood was linked to roughly 8 percent of the deaths. Other good foods that we need to eat more include fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
I’m all about eating in moderation but you should focus on eating more of the good, and less of the bad. Start by making one healthier choice a day. Here are my prescriptions:
1. Be sure to eat 3 average-sized fruits, along with 2 ½ daily servings of whole grains.
2. You need plenty of vegetables in your diet. Eat 2 cups cooked or 4 cups raw every day.
3. Include about 20 nuts per serving, five times per week
4. Eat 8 ounces of seafood a week, like salmon and sardines since they are rich in omega-3 fats.
The study recommends 2,000 milligrams daily which is just under a teaspoon. Be sure to check processed or canned foods as they are typically very high in sodium.