Thursday, September 14, 2017

Individual foods and risk of mortality

The Study
We have known for decades that our dietary choices can positively or negatively impact our long-term risk of chronic disease.  A recently published meta-analysis summarizes the results from hundreds of studies that investigated the association between different food groups and all-cause mortality. The results were interesting:

Foods that reduced risk of mortality
1 serving per day of nuts reduced risk of mortality by 15%
1 serving per day of legumes reduced risk of mortality by 10%
1 serving per day of whole grains reduced risk of mortality by 9%
1 serving per day of fish reduced risk of mortality by 7%
1 serving per day of vegetables reduced risk of mortality by 6%
1 serving per day of fruits reduced risk of mortality by 6%

Foods that increased risk of mortality
1 serving per day of red meat increased risk of mortality by 16%
1 serving per day of processed meat increased risk of mortality by 12%
1 serving per day of sugar sweetened beverages increased risk of mortality by 7%
1 serving per day of eggs increased risk of mortality by 7%
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2017; 105:1462-73.

Take Home Message
The take home message here is pretty simple: eat more of the foods that decrease mortality risk and less of the foods that increase it.  It is easy to focus solely on results when you are trying to lose weight and lose sight of the long-term health consequences of your dietary choices.  Many popular fad diets are guilty of this.  The goal is to eat in a way that helps you lose weight and reduces your long-term risk of chronic disease. This way you’ll have a lot longer to enjoy your fit new body!


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