This morning, Dr. Oz paid a visit to the Today Show to discuss a recent critical study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by investigators at the Tufts Friedman School of nutrition. Researchers analyzed the information concerning what Americans consume and what kills them and found a strong correlation between certain foods and the risk of disease. Researchers discovered that 10 dietary factors could be attributed to 45% of the approximately 700,000 deaths from diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
The research shows that by just changing our eating habits we can significantly reduce deaths related to such diseases while also reducing the price of health care at the same time. The savings can be a lot since it is estimated that people spend around $80 billion on these conditions annually.
Deaths from heart disease, diabetes, and stroke aren’t strictly due to consuming too much junk food. A lack of enough healthy and nutritious foods in our diets has also contributed to disease-related deaths. Below is a list of nutrient-rich foods you should add to your meals:
Healthy fats are the omega-3 fats present in salmon as well as small fatty fish such as sardines. Research has shown that due to their anti-inflammatory properties people with high levels of these fats in their bodies have a reduced risk of heart disease and better brain health. The ideal daily serving is 250mg. By eating one salmon serving you can receive seven days-worth of healthy fats.
Seeds and Nuts
Nuts have fatty acids which are mostly unsaturated and healthy for your body. They also contain complex carbohydrates such as fiber, as well as proteins and other important nutrients. A recent study suggests that nuts may be essential for weight loss because that can help you feel full for longer. Researchers have discovered an inverse link between eating nuts and gaining weight over time. The Journal of the American Medical Association paper proposes that the optimum number of nuts in your diet is approximately five 1 oz servings each week.
Oils sourced from corn oils and soybeans contain polyunsaturated fats. You should replace simple sugars and animal fats with these fats. Dr. Oz is a major proponent of olive oil, which has mostly mono-saturated fats as well as other phytochemicals such as flavanols, though this was not evaluated in this particular study. The senior author of the Journal of the American Medical Association paper, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, who also happens to be the Tufts Friedman School of nutrition Dean, said that while we normally call these vegetable oils there are actually almost no literal vegetable oils. Almost every healthful oil is derived from nuts, fruits, or seeds: extracts from bioactive-rich foods which give rise to life.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits & vegetables have a lot of fiber (unless they are juiced), phytonutrients, and prebiotics. The people who have lived to be oldest all ate plant-based meals, meaning that most of their diet was centered around fruits and veggies. According to this study, you need to be consuming approximately 14 oz of vegetables daily. This is approximately four servings of vegetables, which is equal to 2 cups of veggies prepared cooked or 4 cups of veggies prepared raw. You should also eat about three servings of fruit each day, which is equivalent to 3 cups of fresh fruit and 1 ½ cups of dried fruit.
Whole grains include foods like whole wheat bread, wheat pasta, and faro. They contain more nutrients than refined white grains and flours which are broken down at a much slower rate by the body so you don’t get a massive rush of blood sugar. The study states the ideal amount of whole grains is approximately 4.5 oz daily. For reference, one piece of whole wheat bread is about 1 oz, and one pasta serving is 2 oz. Be sure to read about the ingredients on the label of whole grain meals carefully since packaging can at times be misleading, and make sure you look for 100% whole grains while at the grocery store for a great source of nutrition.
There are many amazing healthy foods we should be eating more of, though there are also some we need to cut back on if we want to decrease the number of deaths associated with diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The following are foods you should be trying to cut out of your diet:
Reduce Your Salt Intake
Sodium is linked to elevated blood pressure and heart conditions. Fast food and junk food contain lots of salt making them the most likely culprit for how so many people consume too much sodium. Avoiding these foods can be helpful. If you’re used to consuming foods with lots of salt, it won’t be easy to quit, but there are many online resources available to help you manage your sodium intake. According to the research, the optimal amount of sodium is 2000mg every day, which is approximately one teaspoon of salt.
Reduce Sugary Drinks
These drinks include sports drinks, juices, and sodas. In this study, it is said that the optimum sugar intake is zero. These are empty sugar calories. The ideal drink to nourish your body is water. You can try drinking sparkling water if you think plain water is too boring. Tea and coffee can also serve as good sugar-free alternatives, just keep an eye on the ingredients to be sure they don’t have any added sugar and be wary of caffeine.
Forgo Processed Meats & Unprocessed Red Meats
Unprocessed red meats are not of extreme concern, in fact, according to this study, the least number of deaths were linked to unprocessed red meats, though moderation is always key so don’t consume too much. The ideal amount is said to be one 3 oz serving each week. Processed meats, on the other hand, have lots of salt, nitrates and other components that can put your health at risk. According to the World Health Organization, they increase the chances of having these conditions. Moreover, they elevate the risk of dying from a heart condition, diabetes, or stroke. The study says the optimum amount of processed meat is zero.
Try leading a healthier life by following this guide. It will reduce the chances of you suffering from a chronic illness that can prove to be both painful and expensive. You can also save money because these diseases are very expensive to treat. Improve your quality of life by making healthy and nutritious dietary choices.