It will come as no surprise to read that what we eat has a marked effect on our long-term health and longevity. More and more, experts are sending the message that calories are not created equal – no matter where they come from.

A landmark study from the US National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases in 2019 fed two groups of participants “equally enjoyable” diets that matched calories, sugar, fat, fiber and macronutrients. The only difference is that one group was fed ultra-processed foods and the other unprocessed foods.

A growing body of research links ultra-processed foods (UPF, which now make up more than half of the average UK person’s daily calorie intake) to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. A 2022 study from the University of Navarre found that UPFs accelerate the aging of the body and increase the risk of all-cause mortality.

Researchers at the University of Michigan who created a 2021 Nutritional Health Index found that every hot dog a person eats cuts their healthy life expectancy by 36 minutes. Soft drinks (such as coca cola) shortened lifespan by 12 minutes, bacon by six minutes, and each devoured double cheeseburger shaved just under nine minutes. Research has also found that even one serving of cheese consumed can take longer than a minute over a healthy lifetime.

But, before you ditch your weekend rashers, it’s not all bad news – the index also showed that it’s also possible to to add minutes to our healthy life expectancy by eating better foods. For example, each banana has been shown to add 13.5 minutes to life, just like a serving of baked salmon.

At this point, you might be wondering: sure, hot dogs shouldn’t be the mainstay of our diet, but having one every now and then surely can’t hurt? No, eating a single hot dog won’t necessarily save you 36 minutes of real-time life, but almost every expert agrees that the category they fall into – UPFs – is very bad news for our health.

So if you’re looking to lead a healthier and slightly longer life, we’ve listed some foods to watch out for. Fear not, though, we’ve also found some equally delicious alternatives to incorporate into your diet.

1. Hot dogs

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2022-08-03 14:27:15