Guilty of eating these foods? Here’s how they rate in terms of minutes of life lost while eating
At school, we grew up learning about the food pyramid. It’s hard to say if this had an effect on our online shopping at the school canteen, but our guess is as good as yours in that nothing could deter us from the gift that was ordering from. Chicken lunch with a Bubble O’Bill ice cream as a palette cleaner. Now that we’ve got past our teenage cravings, most of us can attest to making healthy food choices when possible. But the days of the food pyramid have been replaced by a number of fad diets and health trends, from kale and acai to everything green in between. While it can certainly be difficult to separate the fads from the proven healthy foods, this study seeks to better understand the health benefits (and drawbacks) of our food choices.
Forget about health star ratings for a minute, those exact numbers are a whole different thing. Published in the research journal Nature Food, the study seeks to provide some of the early figures on the benefits of our food choices, examining their impact not only on our personal health but also on the environment. As the researchers have found, by replacing 10 percent of your daily calorie intake from beef and processed meats with a blend of selected fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and seafood, you can actually cut your intake by a third. food carbon footprint. If that weren’t enough to convince you, there’s also the fact that you can also gain 48 minutes of “healthy living” which is good quality, disease-free life per day.
If this all sounds a little hard to believe, consider the fact that the researchers extracted data from the global burden of disease, a comprehensive epidemiological study and database that includes 15 dietary risk factors contributing to health and / or disease. These figures were combined with the nutrient profiles of more than 5,800 foods consumed in the United States, based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey’s What We Eat in America database.
When it comes to the foods we should be looking for, the health benefits come from things like milk, nuts, seeds, fruits, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids from seafood, fiber from fruits. , vegetables, legumes, whole grains and polyunsaturated fats. acids. When it comes to which foods we should replace, the estimated health damage was associated with foods such as processed meat, red meat, trans fatty acids, sugary drinks, and sodium.
Spicy Red Salmon Curry
What happens if you take healthy eating too far?
From there, the researchers adapted the data to standard servings and created a nutritional index for health, which translated the information into minutes of life lost or gained per serving of each food consumed. It’s an interesting concept, especially since we can’t say we’ve chewed something up before and immediately thought about how many minutes it might take in our lives. But as researchers have found, a handful of nuts extends your healthy life by 26 minutes, and a PB&J sandwich can give you an extra 33 minutes of healthy life. Thanks to omega-3s, sardines in tomato sauce can also help you accumulate an additional 82 minutes of healthy living. The study authors also found that you lose 0.45 minutes per gram of processed meat eaten. And because of the trans fats and sodium, something as innocent as a hot dog in a bun can take you 36 minutes, while chicken wings also take away 3.3 minutes of healthy living.
Regarding the effect of food choices on the environment, the researchers rated each food based on 18 environmental indicators such as carbon footprint, air pollution, and impacts on usage. water. The foods were then coded in green for good, in amber which indicates slightly detrimental, or in red if they had a considerable negative nutritional impact or a high environmental impact. Foods in the green zone are mainly nuts, fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and some seafood; amber was poultry, dairy products, egg foods, cooked grains, and greenhouse vegetables; and the red zone include processed meat, sugary drinks, beef, pork and lamb.
As Katerina Stylianou, MS, who conducted the research as a doctoral student and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, said in a press release: “ Previous studies have often reduced their results to a discussion of foods of plant or animal origin. Although we find that plant-based foods generally work better, there is considerable variation between plant-based and animal-based foods.
Olivier Jolliet, Ph.D., professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan and lead author of the article, added: “The urgency of dietary changes to improve human health and the environment is clear. Our results demonstrate that small, targeted substitutions offer a feasible and powerful strategy to achieve significant health and environmental benefits without requiring drastic dietary changes.
It is certainly interesting read and an opportunity for many to research more sustainable food options. As for the minutes of healthy living lost or gained, we suggest you don’t read too much. While interesting, obsessing over food isn’t always healthy. The key to remember is to simply make these healthier, more sustainable choices whenever possible. Your body – and the environment – will thank you.