Diet-Related Diseases are Leading Cause of Death in the US

In a JAMA study titled “The State of US Health, 19990-2016” on millions of Americans over 26 years, diseases linked to diet and lifestyle choices are the leading cause of death. The highlights are as follows:
  • Our biggest risk factor for disease, disability, and death is our DIET. What we eat in America–known as the Standard American Diet (SAD)–is more deadly than anything else.
  • Our second, third, and four biggest enemies are tobacco smoking, high blood pressure, and high body mass index (BMI)
  • Both high blood pressure and high BMI can be linked to diet
  • We are living a little longer (about 3 years) in 2016 compared to 1990, but we not necessarily healthier lives.

#1 Risk Factor For Disease and Death | The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)

So let’s talk about America’s #1 health enemy – our Standard American Diet (S.A.D).

The reason that the American diet is so dangerous are due to the following key components according to the researchers:

  • Low in fiber from whole foods (like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains)
  • High in sodium
  • High in processed meats
  • High in sugar-sweetened beverages (even orange juice counts as a sugar sweet beverage)
  • Low in omega-3 fatty acids (Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish.)
  • High in trans fats (Trans fats occur naturally in beef and full-fat dairy foods. They also come from the industrial processing of vegetable oils into solid fats. These manufactured trans fats are often in products like fried and snack foods, margarines, pie crusts, and store-bought bakery goods. If the Ingredient List says “partially hydrogenated,” the product has trans fats.
  • Low in polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in liquid vegetable oils such as olive oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and safflower oil) *

* Because of the very high calorie density of oils,  low consumption is particularly recommended for people trying to lose excess weight.

So what do we eat???

For optimal health and longevity with quality years of life, I recommend focusing on a plant-forward diet high in fiber from whole foods (such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, legumes). Some omega-3 fatty acids (from fish or if you’re Vegan from vegan sources) should also be added.

Avoid excess sodium, processed meats, trans fats, red meat, and high-calorie drinks — they are not only bad for your waist line, they’re making you sick!

Below is a healthy plate. Subscribe to our newsletter to get a FREE dietary guideline on what to eat for optimal health — based on US Dietary Guidelines from evidence based scientific results.