New This Month

Too Much Salt (Too Few Nuts and Vegetables), That's What We're Eating

We've heard this before -- but did we actually change our eating habits?

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It's hardly a secret that too much bacon or sugary soda impacts your waistline, but the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows certain foods may play a role in heart disease, stroke, and diabetes-related death, too and provides a list of foods to eat more of and those to avoid. 

 

The study is based on data from the U.S. government showing that about 700,000 U.S. deaths in 2012 were caused by heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. In looking at these statistics alongside information on Americans' eating habits, as gathered by a national survey, researchers have found a significant connection between diet and cardiovascular- or diabetes-related death.

 

(EAT BETTER: try these delicious salmon recipes)

 

The research found that overeating "bad" foods -- think salty snacks and processed meats (bacon, hot dogs) -- were in part to blame for death by heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. And then there is the issue of undereating "good" foods like nuts, vegetables, and healthy fats. Overall, the new research found that a combination of the two habits accounted for about 45 percent of the deaths in their study. 

 

(TRY: these healthy vegetarian recipes)

 

This isn't the first time that we've heard bacon get bashed as bad for heart health (sigh), or vegetables touted as a way to boost overall wellness, but the new research adds some specifics. For example, the fact that excess salt was the cause of about 10 percent of deaths in the study, while a combination of overeating meats and undereating nuts accounted for about 8 percent.

 

We know you're going to improve your diet and health, so here's the list of foods to eat ("good") and those to avoid ("bad"):

 

Good:

Vegetables

Fruits

Nuts/seeds

Whole grains

Polyunsaturated fats

Seafood

 

Bad:

Red meat

Processed meat

Sugary drinks

Salt