May 27, 2024


Health know-how

Food’s impact on quality of life


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Researchers are digging deep to try to figure out just how much time some of the stuff we eat is taking off of our lives.

A recent study found eating a hot dog could cost you 36 minutes of healthy life, while a serving of nuts could help you gain 26 minutes of extra healthy life. We all know the benefits of eating healthy but this really puts things into perspective

“A minute of healthy life is a life free of disease,” said Lisa Moskovitz, a registered dietician and CEO of New York Nutrition Group.

The study published in the journal of Nature Food looked at almost 6,000 foods and then ranked them based on their potential to result in disease and their impact on the environment. 

(Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

“If you’re balancing those hot dogs that take off 36 minutes of life with plenty of nuts and other plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, chances are you’re going to be fine,” said Moskovitz.

The research also revealed that swapping 10% of caloric intake from processed meats for a mix of fruits, vegetables, and select seafood could tack on an extra 48 healthy minutes per day.

“As long as like 80% on average, your diet is nutritious nutrient-dense foods that promote health, then that other 20% shouldn’t really have much of a say in the long term,” she said.

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And while the study was unique it was specific in how people could change their behavior, but it might not motivate people to eat healthier.

“When you tell somebody don’t eat this, this is bad for you, that automatically increases our stress and our fight or flight response,” said Moskovitz. “And then we’re (likely) going to want that food more.”

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