There is no doubt that smoking is terribly bad for you. It always ranks up there as one of the biggest killers worldwide. When you think of factors that lead to preventable, premature death, smoking is probably the first thing that comes to mind.
But what if I told you that a poor diet could be just as big of a killer, if not even more harmful than smoking tobacco? In a recent post, I cited a study that has been making the rounds lately that was comprehensive and long-term in nature and reported that approximately 1 in 5 deaths globally can now be traced back to a poor diet. Poor diet has, in fact, equaled if not eclipsed smoking as the leading cause of mortality.
If that doesn’t wake you up to start eating healthier, I don’t know what will. It’s time to assess where your nutritional needs are and adjusting your meal plan to lead a longer, healthier life.
What Diets Are the Most Harmful to Your Health?
Most people think that they are eating right, or at least aren’t eating terribly. However, you would be surprised at how harmful some popular diets out there really are. Proper nutrition comes from eating all the food groups. Remember the Food Pyramid you were taught? While it has its flaws, it still stands as a good general guideline of the spectrum of foods that you should be eating.
According to a recent study, these are the three biggest factors in a diet that prove to be more deadly than smoking cigarettes:
In addition, the particular foods that have been most tightly correlated with a high death rate include:
What Changes Can Be Made?
One big thing that came out of the study that I cited in the post I linked above is that we have a flawed mindset when it comes to dieting. Generally, we think that in order to get healthier or lose weight, we need to cut out the unhealthy foods. While this is certainly noble and admirable, it should be looked at from another angle. What we really should be emphasizing is more consumption of healthier foods.
Another good point on this topic was brought up by food.ndtv.com in an article here. While we all have the ability to make our own food choices, there also needs to be more pressure on food and beverage manufacturers to regulate their industry, making cleaner foods that contain fewer trans fats, sugar, additives, and other chemicals. This kind of effort from the makers of our food will have a trickle-down effect on the whole population. If there are fewer unhealthy choices available, and more healthy options, we all benefit.
If you are guilty of any the diet risks that are listed above, whether it be under-consumption of some healthy options or over-consumption of some unhealthy choices, it is time to evaluate your diet and make the necessary changes. It is never too late to start. You have your whole life ahead of you yet – make dietary changes to make it even longer!