There are a number of excuses people have for illness. Some may claim itâs genetic, others say itâs the fault of the food companies, and conspiracy theorists contend the governmentâs putting something in the water. But as youâre likely aware, what you eat can have a real impact on how long, and in what condition, you survive.
There are always new culprits named as killers. Itâs been fat, then saturated fat. Next, trans fat came along. Now, and most accurately, itâs sugars and processed foods. Yes, diets high in saturated fats arenât particularly healthy, but at the end of the day, if youâre eating lot of processed and packaged meats, youâre setting yourself up for a shorter life.
New research is showing that people who eat high amounts of red meat die up to two years sooner than people who donât. Now, it should be noted that the biggest killer is in the form of processed red meats. Processed meats are preserved through smoking, curing, salting, and chemicals. Some of these chemicals, like sodium nitrate, could increase your chance of death. They have been linked to hardened arteries, heart disease, and diabetes. Examples of meats processed this way are:
- Hot dogs
- Breakfast sausages
- Cold cuts
Some people eat a lot of red meat. Researches noted that people who ate up to 10.5 ounces per day, which is quite a lot, lived two years less than people who avoided it. But people who ate as little as 3.5 ounces per day of processed meats had their survival cut by nine months. Thatâs less than two breakfast sausages and two slices of bacon, and slightly more than a quarter-pound burger (thatâs had preservatives added).
The team followed more than 74,500 people and considered all lifestyle factors. They used a 96-item food frequency questionnaire asking about the types of meats the participants ate in the past year and did follow-ups for 15 years.
Processed meats are convenient and relatively inexpensive, but they are killers. There is no doubt they will create health problems and shorten your life, so itâs important to do your best to avoid them. In place of processed meats, opt for fresh, unprocessed lean options. Sirloin, extra lean ground beef, veal, and whatever else is available at your butcherâs counter are recommended.
In my opinion, weâve really moved past the stage of âdying from natural causes.â In most cases, heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many other illnesses are attributable to lifestyle decisions. One of the most influential areas in determining oneâs fate comes from the decisions they make in the grocery store.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it: eating processed meat is highly risky, and it will shave years off your life. Iâd almost liken regular consumption of processed meats to smokingâitâs guaranteed to hurt you and can cause all kinds of health complications.
The grocery store is filled with fresh meat options that have more nutrition and are free of the dangerous additives found in packaged meats, so choose wisely. Your life literally depends on it.
Sources for Todayâs Article:
Barnes, Z., âThe Food that can cut years off your life,â Fox News web site, October 6, 2014; http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/10/06/food-that-can-cut-years-off-your-life/.
Gallagher, J., âProcessed meat âearly deathâ link,â BBC web site, March 7, 2013; http://www.bbc.com/news/health-21682779, last accessed October 9, 2014.
âRed meat linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes,â Harvard School of Public Health web site, August 10, 2011; http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/red-meat-type-2-diabetes/, last accessed October 9, 2014.