A new study argues that an unhealthy diet can cause more deaths across the world in comparison to smoking. The paper notes that lousy diets cause almost 11 million deaths per year. It seems that the most harmful ones include a large amount of salt and minimal amounts of whole grains and fruit.
During the study, the researchers analyzed the dietary habits of 195 countries, using data which included sales and average household expenses from 1990 to 2017. More than 10 million of the 11 million deaths linked to an unhealthy diet by the study were caused by cardiovascular diseases, with the other significant culprits being cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
According to one of the researchers, the study proves that poor diet is a significant health risk across the world, causing more issues than smoking or high blood pressure. The consumption of too much salt has been inked three million deaths while another three million are connected to the intake of too few whole grains. The avoidance of fruits has caused another two million deaths.
An unhealthy diet harms us more than smoking
It is well-known that salt will raise blood pressure and increase the risk of developing cardiac disease. The lack of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in a diet will also increase the risk of heart stroke and heart attack.
In order to mitigate the problem, it is advised to consume a larger quantity of whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fish/ seafood. They will minimize some risks and improve your health in the long run. To further reduce the chances you should avoid salt and products which contain a large amount of salt, sugary drink, and processed meats.
The study also notes that in countries where the population actively follows a Mediterranean-style diet the number of deaths related to an unhealthy diet is considerably lower. The researchers note that there were some limitations to the study, but the primary goal has been achieved.