A new study published in the scientific journal “The Lancet” reports that over consumption of red and processed meats, salt and sugar and not enough fruit, vegetables and legumes are to blame for damaging our hearts and causing cancer.
Our daily diet, researchers say, is a bigger killer than any other risk factor, including cigarette smoking.
Eleven million deaths globally in 2017 can be attributed to cardiovascular disease, which is often caused or made worse by obesity and poor diet — in particular, overconsumption of salt.
Stefan Lorkowski, a German researcher who contributed to “The Lancet” report remarked “It is quite well-known that the dietary habits in developing countries are different than in well-developed industrialized countries, although they have some similarities.
For example, whole grains are eaten the least in almost all countries. In developing countries, the decision often depends on availability and someone’s income.
If you have a low income you don’t buy vegetables, you don’t buy meat; instead, you buy cheap and often starch-rich foods. In the more industrialized countries, we have a somewhat different situation because we have enough money to spend on food, but we also eat foods which are low in fibre, but rich in refined starch and fat, and calories as well.
An important issue is also the amount of food we eat. That means calories. We’ve been able to see a steady increase over the years in the BMI [body mass index] worldwide, Lorkowski added.
We do not eat enough wholegrain products. We prefer fast foods which consist of refined starch and fat as well. These foods are usually low in fibre and also low in micronutrients and trace elements. Our intake of sodium is generally much too high.
As mentioned in the Lancet study, more than 50 per cent of all the deaths are a result of not eating enough whole grains and fruits, and a too high intake of sodium.
The German National Nutrition Survey II, which revealed that we eat less than 20 grams of fibre per day, although it’s recommended to eat more than 30 grams. And we know from a recent study published in The Lancet that whole grain and fibre intake is a major driver in preventing total mortality, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2 and colorectal cancer.
Finally, we know from past surveys in Germany that almost half the carbohydrates we eat are sugars.
This is another big issue because sugars are responsible for an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, he added.
Speaking to Pune365, City Dietician Kavita says, Certainly, the rate of death due to cardiovascular disease and diabetes is high as compared to smokers. Dependence of junk food has increased rapidly due to fusion food, social media and cravings even when you’re not hungry.
There is no compulsion to follow a diet, even consuming dal rice or normal home cooked food can keep you healthy and fit.
Also, it is advisable to consume black salt instead of white salt, It has low sodium and good for health. Fruits should be an essential part of living they have an unending list of benefits. Keep your diet as simple as possible. Dal, Rice, Roti, Vegetable and Salad is the key to maintain the good health, she added.
People today have become more fitness conscious and are relying more on whole grains, fruits and veggies, says Neha Saroj, Fitness expert.
There are only a handful of people who are highly dependent on junk food. Consumption of junk food is high among teenagers and adults below 25, however slowly and gradually everybody is moving towards a ‘fit’ India, Neha added.
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