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Is Your Diet Killing You?

Be honest with yourself: How healthy is your diet? If you haven’t been paying much attention, it’s time to take a closer look. The truth is, your poor diet might literally be killing you. According to a recent study, 11 million deaths worldwide in 2017 were linked to people eating diets high in sugar, salt and processed meat, which contributed to heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Researchers studied 195 countries around the world and found that poor diet-related deaths were highest in Uzbekistan and lowest in Israel. The United States came in at No. 43 on the list. Britain ranked 23rd, while India came in at 118 and China was listed at 140. The biggest contributor to 1 in 5 deaths in 2017 being linked to poor diets was the overconsumption of sugary drinks, processed meat and salt. While these foods were overconsumed, healthier foods such as nuts, seeds, milk and whole grains were underconsumed.

Researchers found that on average, people only ate 12% of the recommended amount of nuts and seeds — equaling out to about 3 grams per day, compared to the recommended amount of 21 grams. The study showed that people who also drinking more than 10 times the recommended amount of sugary drinks. Consumption of whole grains came in at less than a quarter of the recommended amount, while processed meat consumption was almost double the recommended amount.

The study confirms that poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other factor in the world. Diets high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats are risk factors for many serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and different types of cancer. Of the 11 million deaths, nearly 10 million were from cardiovascular diseases, while around 913,000 were from cancer and 339,000 were from type 2 diabetes.

Take a close look at your diet. Compare the amount of raw, fresh foods in your diet with the amounts of processed, junk and fast foods. How do things add up? Nutrition is an integral part of taking control of your health. A healthy diet has endless benefits, from reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and other health issues, to improving your mood and mental clarity and promoting a long and healthy life. It’s never too late to get on the right track.