The question of what is healthy to consume in terms of food has plagued us for generations. Sugar, salt, red meat etc all definitely have their demerits but there are also merits. So, how do you decide what to eat – simply by eating in moderation.
Recently, a research, published in the Lancet, found that too much salt (sodium) is responsible for the disease-related deaths of three million people worldwide each year.
While salt here was a major evil, the research also found 15 other dietary risk factors. All of them worrisome and probably requiring moderation too, especially if you want to be in your best health.
This study aimed to evaluate the consumption of major foods and nutrients across 195 countries, and to quantify the impact of their “suboptimal intake” – in other words getting not enough or too much of them – on death and disability from non-communicable diseases – heart disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer.
Globally, in 2017, suboptimal diet was responsible for 11 million deaths. Poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risks globally, including smoking.
The biggest chunk of diet-related deaths was due to high intake of sodium. Following closely was a low intake of whole grains. Low intake of fruits; low levels of nuts and seeds; not enough vegetables; not enough omega-3 and too little fibre were other major killers.
Intake of sugar was well above recommended levels in most places, although surprisingly high intake was quite far down the list of killers compared to other risk factors. So was high red meat intake.
Adding more good things to your diet will tend to unclutter the bad things.