They say you are what you eat. The age-old wisdom behind these statements is still valid. According to a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, nutrition is the number one cause of disease.
Today, we consume a lot of ultra-processed foods. It can cause serious health issues. Many experts point out the direct link between ultra-processed foods and heart diseases. Jump on to know how such foods can be the major villain behind life-threatening diseases.
Nutrition Is Behind Early Deaths & Diseases In The US
In a recent WBZ news hour, Dr. Mallika Marshall, MD, opined that the biggest cause behind the disease is not smoking, but nutrition. She based her knowledge on research made by the cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Stephen Kopecky.
According to him, nutrition is the number one reason behind early deaths and diseases in the United States and around the world. Dr. Kopecky stated on The Mayo Clinic Minute, the video program launched by the Mayo Clinic.
As per Dr. Kopecky, factors like smoking and genetics can increase the risk of developing diseases. But both of these factors are not the biggest ones. According to him, genetics plays around a 30% to 40% chance in raising disease risk, while a bad lifestyle can raise it by 300% to 400%.
Around 57% of daily calorie consumption in the United States comes from ultra-processed foods, which is alarming data.
People tend to depend on ultra-processed foods because they are cheap and convenient. But over time, they can cause many health issues. Regular consumption of these foods can harm the arteries, brains, pancreas, liver, lungs, etc.
Replacing these unhealthy foods with even a small amount of healthy foods can do a great deal of good. It reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in one or two years.
Ultra-processed foods are food items that have to undergo specific kinds of food processing. These are made to use instantly and thereby offer the most kind of comfort and convenience. Being a crucial part of food corporations, they often have low-quality and cost ingredients.
Some examples of ultra-processed foods include chips, fries, chocolate, soft drinks, packaged soups, etc.
Many studies have already proved the invariable connection between ultra-processed foods and heart diseases. Research published in the British Medical Journals in 2019 found that these junk foods can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study undertook a median follow-up of 5.2 years and found a higher risk of cardiovascular disease was the outcome of its consumption.
Here are some tips to consume less processed food and add more healthy foods to your diet.
- Always keep some healthy snacks on hand: You can store up some nuts or fruits wherever you are, and snack upon them if you are hungry.
- Use whole grains instead of refined grains: One of the ways to reduce junk food intake is to replace refined grains with healthy whole grains.
- Be creative with healthy foods: Use your creativity in the kitchen and experiment with healthy foods.
- Hydrate often: Water is important if you want to reduce junk food consumption. Water can reduce unwanted cravings and appetites.
- Invest in meal preparations: Planning and cooking some meals in advance can reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods.
- Include more veggies: Veggies are crucial for health. Eat a lot of vegetables instead of eating junk food.