Study links bacon to deaths due to stroke, heart attack, diabetes

Bad news for everyone: we may need to quit eating bacon, forever.

A recent study based on US government data showed that overeating or not eating enough of 10 ingredients combined contributed to a high percentage of deaths from heart diseases, diabetes and strokes.

Study links bacon to deaths due to stroke, heart attack, diabetes

The study, which covered 16,000 people from 1999 to 2012, looked into food diaries as well as the health of their subjects through the years. Researchers at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy discovered that if people ate more nuts, fruits and vegetables and consumed less salt and meat, they could significantly reduce their risk of heart disease.

In 2012, the team of researchers reported that more than 700,000 Americans died of heart disease, stroke or diabetes.

“Of these, an estimated 45 percent (318,656 due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes) were associated with suboptimal intakes of the 10 dietary factors,” researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

10 Dietary Factors: Good and Bad Ingredients

The study also revealed recommended amounts for good and bad ingredients, based on nutrition experts’ advice, US government guidelines and amounts found to be beneficial or dangerous based on previous research.

Researchers found that good ingredients are fruits (3 average-sized fruits daily); vegetables (2 cups cooked or 4 cups raw vegetables daily), nuts/seeds ( 5 1-ounce servings per week); whole grains (2 1/2 daily servings); polyunsaturated fats commonly found in vegetable oils (11% of daily calories); and seafood (about 8 ounces per week).

On the other hand, bad ingredients include red meat (1 serving weekly); processed meat (none recommended); sugary drinks (none recommended) and salt (2000 mg or less than a teaspoon daily).

Consuming too much salt, found to be the biggest problem in the study, was linked to about 10% of deaths. Nearly 8% of deaths were linked with overeating processed meats as well as undereating seafoods, nuts and seeds each.

"These results should help identify priorities, guide public health planning, and inform strategies to alter dietary habits and improve health," the researchers concluded.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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