Food is the engine that drives our bodies. Much like your car needs the right fuel to function, so does your body. Unfortunately, many people have been feeding their systems with the wrong fuel for ages, drastically increasing the risk of serious diseases.
If you’re becoming more health-conscious and want to tweak your eating habits for the better, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we share the worst foods to eat if you want to live longer. The sooner you ditch these foods, the better.
1. Ultra-Processed Foods
The more foods are processed, the lower the nutritional value and health benefits. A 2019 study on the correlation between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and mortality showed a higher death rate for those who eat them.
2. Processed Red Meats
Red meats are rich in protein and moderate consumption is recommended. However, some studies beg to disagree. Mayo Clinic reviewed six studies on the matter found that people who eat red meats regularly have a higher risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and premature death.
Here’s a list of processed meats you may want to avoid:
- Hot dogs
- Deli meats
- Canned meats
- Processed, cured, salted, and fermented meat
But why are these so dangerous, you may wonder? They contain too much sodium, saturated fat, nitrites, and nitrates, all believed to cause different diseases.
3. Fried Foods
In an issue of Mayo Clinic Minute, researchers found a link between type 2 diabetes and heart problems and fried foods, suggesting that those who eat fried foods daily may have a shorter lifespan. The problem with fried foods is that our bodies can’t process the amounts of this stuff that we eat in the modern age.
In short, eating fried foods is similar to putting gasoline into a diesel vehicle.
4. Added Sugars
A paper in Mayo Clinic Proceedings concluded that added fructose is a primary driver of type 2 diabetes. The results show that avoiding added sugars of any form may be the best thing we can do for our health. If you have a sweet tooth and can’t go without your sweets, replace corn syrup with that of agave, cane, or date.
All findings suggest that cutting back on added sugars (particularly fructose) can lead to a lower risk of diabetes morbidity and premature death.
It’s no news that overconsumption of alcohol can lead to a range of health issues. Pancreatitis, heart damage, liver issues, brain damage, stroke, and even suicide, to name a few. Although the worst health effects mainly appear in heavy drinkers, there’s no guarantee that light drinkers don’t face any adverse consequences of consuming alcohol. According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate drinking isn’t risk-free and those who have a drink each day have a real chance of getting esophageal and other forms of cancer.
When you’re at a celebration or an important event, you may want to stick to plain drinks and limit the intake to no more than two glasses per night. As studies shows, the worst alcoholic beverages for your health are the mixed ones. Cocktails typically contain tons of added sugars and mix different alcohol types that will not only spike up your blood sugar levels but also your calorie intake.
Your Health Depends on Your Food Choices
How many times have you heard “a balanced diet is key to long-term health” or similar? As it turns out, a balanced diet really is key to keeping health issues away for as long as possible. If you’re unsure where to start, you can avoid consuming ultra-processed foods, including processed meats, fried foods, added sugars, and alcohol. We know how tempting it can be to pass on that cocktail offer on a Saturday night, but consider it a big favor to your more mature self.