Most of us understand that there is a link between what we eat and our health – but how strong, and how important, is that connection? Heart and circulatory disease is the number one killer of American adults, and we know that certain dietary behaviors can either promote, or reduce, health consequences.
But a new study just released, shows just how strong that association is between diet and heart disease. These researchers looked at all of the important studies of specific food types and disease associations, then compared this to national surveys of Americans’ eating habits. They then estimated what proportion was due these various dietary habits.
Overeating, or not eating enough, of the 10 foods and nutrients contributes to nearly half of U.S. deaths from heart and circulatory disease, the study suggests.
“Good” foods that were under-eaten include: nuts and seeds, seafood rich in omega-3 fats including salmon and sardines; fruits and vegetables; and whole grains.
“Bad” foods or nutrients that were over-eaten include salt and salty foods; processed meats including bacon, bologna and hot dogs; red meat including steaks and hamburgers; and sugary drinks.
Of course, this was a study of populations, and most of us are most concerned about our personal habits and risk of disease (remember, only your doctor or health care provider can give your specific advice about your health care). And most importantly, the fact that certain dietary habits are “associated” with bad health, doesn’t mean those foods “cause” bad health. But this is an interesting study that helps quantify the most important targets for change in our diet. (click here to read the full study)
For more information on Heart Health and Diet, see our overview article here.