Avoid These Foods for a Healthier Middle Age
“Maybe the importance of this study is to stop talking about sugar and fat and start talking about chocolate, confectionery. [candy], white bread, butter, high fat cheese, “Piernas said.” This is what we have to tell people. If they eat a diet high in these materials and low in fruits and vegetables, “they are more likely to develop heart disease and die prematurely.
Here’s why: “Mainly, these bad diets make them gain weight,” which puts them at risk for heart disease.
That study involved people from Great Britain, so the results may differ in other parts of the world, Piernas said.
Participants whose diets were richer in chocolate, candy, butter, and white bread were more likely to be younger men who smoked. Compared to people whose diets did not include these foods in large amounts, they also tended to be less active, obese, and hypertensive.
Those who preferred a diet high in sugary and canned drinks had a higher risk of heart disease and death, even though they were more active and less likely to smoke, be obese or have high blood pressure, or have diabetes or of high cholesterol, according to the study.
Other foods that have been touted as less healthy – such as breaded fried fish, salty snacks, and processed and red meats – also featured in this study, but contributed to a lesser degree, Piernas said.
The data comes from 24-hour assessments and may not be representative of the participants’ eating habits for life, the researchers said. Future research could probe the potential reasons for the links.
The results were published online on April 21 in BMC Medicine.
Whitney Linsenmeyer, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, reviewed the results.
“A diet high in refined carbohydrates with white bread, high in saturated fat, high in added sugar, it hits all of these red flags which are very well supported by research,” she said.
It can be scary for people to think of specific foods in terms of health issues or even death, said Linsenmeyer, who is also an assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University in Missouri.
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