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Are you eating yourself to death?

Foods to avoid stroke, heart disease and diabetes disease

A recent study suggests that nearly half of all deaths from stroke, heart disease

and diabetes are related to diet

New research tells you what to eat and what not to eat to prevent stroke and heart disease. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported findings from a research study that pooled data from multiple studies evaluating diet and death from these diseases. Approximately 318,656 deaths from stroke, heart disease or diabetes (metabolic syndrome) in 2012 were study to determine if certain dietary factors were associated with death from these serious conditions. The authors identified 10 dietary factors. Their findings ranked in order of influence (% of deaths) are as follows:

Too Much

  • Salt 9.5%
  • Processed meats 8.2%
  • Sugar sweetened drinks 7.4%
  • Red meet unprocessed 0.4%

Too Little

  • Seeds and Nuts 8.5%
  • Seafood omega 7.8%
  • Vegetables 7.6%
  • Fruits 7.5%
  • Whole grains 5.9%
  • PUFAs replacing carbs or saturated 2.3%

Men were more likely to eat processed meats and drink sugary beverages than women.

Comment from Dr. Giroux. Although we do not understand how each factor was related to illness and death, the following likely apply:

  • Salt is in many processed and fast foods each contributing to an increased risk in high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Seeds, nuts and whole grains are a source of plant- based protein offering less saturated fats, more fiber, vitamins and minerals
  • Fruits and vegetables offer high level of disease fighting antioxidants
  • Fruits and whole grains have a lower glycemic load than sugary process foods, sugary drinks
  • Omega 3 fish are not only a healthy protein source but also high in anti-inflammatory properties from these healthy fats.
  • Salt, processed meats and sugary sodas are a sign of fast food, highly processed on the go diet which differs from the wholesome, real food diet made of fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Bottom line: Eat close to the earth with less processed foods, whole foods as close to their natural state as possible, add plant sources of protein when you can and pay attention to what you drink and how much salt is in your foods.

Source: Micha R et al. JAMA 2017; 317: 912-924


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