To Your Health
September, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 09)
Losing or Gaining Minutes?
By Editorial Staff
We assume that most people don't think about food in terms of whether it's healthy or not (although that's starting to change), but focus instead on whether it tastes good. Unfortunately, fast-food restaurants and food manufacturers have capitalized on this by giving consumers foods that appeal to the senses (and their bottom lines), but generally not to our health and wellness.
What if we could quantify how the food we eat impacts not just our health, but more specifically, how long we'll live? In other words, which foods add time to your life, and which foods take time away? That very question appears to have been answered via a new study published in the research journal Nature Food
The study evaluated nearly 6,000 foods, ranking them on how they impact human health (and the environment). Overall, replacing only 10 percent of your caloric intake from beef and processed meats with fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and certain seafood (high in omega-3 fatty acids) lengthened average lifespan by a whopping 48 minutes – per day; not to mention a 33 percent reduction in dietary carbon footprint. As the study authors state in their conclusion: "Our findings demonstrate that small, targeted substitutions offer a feasible and powerful strategy to achieve significant health and environmental benefits, without requiring dramatic dietary shifts at once."
So, let's consider today's meals: Are you losing or gaining minutes on your life? When food choices are framed this way, it suddenly makes what you eat – or don't eat – that much more significant. If you're losing minutes every time you eat, talk to your doctor about how you can make, as the researchers emphasize, "small, targeted substitutions" that can improve your health and give you more of your most precious gift: time.