CBS News reports that unhealthy diets now kill more people than tobacco and high blood pressure.
According to a recent study, poor diets- or the lack of healthy food consumption- is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide. That translates to 11 million deaths in 2017.The problem is two-fold. So many people around the world, including the US, have diets that are too high in non-health promoting foods like red meat, processed foods high in trans fatty acids like lunch meats, and high sugar foods like sugary drinks.
To make matters even worse, most of these diets are killing people because they’re not consuming enough of the good stuff like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Because food manufacturers have made dangerously processed food so available and inexpensive, the standard diet is severely lacking in vitamins, minerals and fiber. We are eating foods that have little or no nutritional value and these foods are killing us.
Drive down any main road in the US and you’ll see row after row of fast food restaurants, few of which promote vegetables as a main menu item!
An estimated 11 million deaths were attributable to unhealthy diets in 2017. The causes of these deaths included 10 million deaths from heart disease, 913,000 deaths from obesity-related cancers, and nearly 339,000 deaths from type 2 diabetes.CBS News
Change The Focus
To be fair, many areas of the world are food deserts; areas that lack access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that make up a full and healthy diet. But most of us reading this are surrounded with available options to purchase both fresh and frozen healthy foods.
Instead of focusing on what types of unhealthy foods people are consuming, it would be more productive to spread the message about what foods we could eat to improve our health.
Vegetables are disease preventers. Even in small quantities, consuming vegetables can have a tremendous positive effect on our health.
Here in Northern Virginia we are indeed lucky to have easy access to healthy food but still many of us go through the day without making vegetables and fruits a priority. Make it your daily goal to eat at least 3 servings of vegetables. From providing essential vitamins and minerals to fighting disease, it’s clear that including vegetables in your diet is crucial for good health.
Add spinach or kale to your soup or taco. Make a smoothie using frozen fruit and greens. Serve your breakfast (or lunch) eggs on a bed of sautéed greens, onions and tomatoes. Add spiralized root vegetables to your pasta dish. The combinations are endless!
Want recipe ideas and a little extra support to begin your journey to better health? Join the Total Wellness Challenge!
Read the full CBS article here.