Which cultures have unhealthy diets?

Study: Unhealthy Diet: These are the foods you should avoid

It has long been known that some foods are better than others for health. A recent study from the USA has now shown again how important the right diet is. In 2017 alone, around eleven million people over the age of 25 died worldwide from diseases that can be traced back to an unhealthy diet. These include, in particular, heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer. According to the study published in the medical journalThe Lancethas been published, a variety of these diseases could be prevented by changing diet. However, the experts do not see consumers as the sole responsibility.

For the study, the scientists examined data from 195 countries with regard to 15 so-called diet-related risk factors. These include classics such as consuming sugary drinks or red meat. However, a diet low in vegetables, fruit or fiber was also possible as a possible risk factor.

Unhealthy diet: these are the top three risk factors

The excessive intake of sodium was the number one major risk factor. This increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, which in turn is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Around three million people worldwide died in 2017 of diseases that were caused by a diet that was too high in sodium. The recommended daily intake of sodium was exceeded by 86 percent in the same year. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) has also found that Germans generally consume too much sodium.

The mineral is the main component of conventional table salt and occurs naturally in almost all foods. However, industrially processed foods in particular often have a high sodium value. According to the DGE, this is due to the preserving and, above all, taste-enhancing effect of salt. For example, it is found in high concentrations in bread and cheese, but also sausage products and canned fish.

Too little whole grains, too little fruit: study lists risk factors

In a global comparison, the under-consumption of whole grain products ranks second among the risk factors - in Germany, according to the study, it is even the main risk factor. In adults between the ages of 25 and 50 and women in particular, insufficient consumption of whole grain products was the highest risk factor. For men, on the other hand, too high a sodium intake was the front runner. The study also lists the low-fruit diet as an enormous risk factor.

According to the scientists, more than half of all diet-related deaths are due to these three factors. In general, the study found that too many sugary drinks, processed meat and sodium are consumed around the world. On the other hand, nuts and seeds, milk and whole grain products are not consumed enough. Worldwide consumption is far below the recommended guide values.

Study: healthy eating can prevent disease

In the large-scale long-term study, the researchers examined the relationship between certain nutritional factors and non-communicable, chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Based on their results, they believe that a healthier diet can prevent many diseases. But often this is not only in the hands of the consumer. Politicians and industry in particular have to find new ways, according to the experts, in order to change food production and distribution over the long term.

The good mix: ingredients for a balanced diet
  • fruit and vegetables Shop seasonally and regionally if possible. Cooking yourself more and more often. Combine with potatoes, rice or pasta and season well. Goes fast and tastes good!

  • Frozen vegetables and fruits Frozen food is prepared in no time. The only disadvantage is the high energy consumption for cultivation, transport and storage. "Natural" vegetables can be seasoned individually. One-kilogram bags, from which the required amount can be easily taken, are cheaper.

  • Potatoes Jacket potatoes or other "natural" potatoes are not fattening ones. They contain valuable potassium, fiber and vegetable protein. Pan-fried potatoes, jacket potatoes with herb quark, pan-fried potatoes.

  • milk and milkproducts These foods should always be chosen as natural as possible.

  • legumes Lentil soups in all variations are popular, especially in winter.

  • carbohydrates Sourdough breads and wholemeal breads are easy to digest and offer a lot of vitamins and fiber. Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods. They contain a lot of vegetable protein, zinc, selenium, vitamin K, magnesium and phosphorus.

  • nuts Walnuts in particular boast a lot of vegetable protein, vitamin E and many minerals. They are good for the heart and the brain.

  • water The body depends on water. It is important in the morning to let the water that has collected in the pipe run overnight until it is cold.

  • Contact The Bavarian Consumer Center also provides advice by email. You can reach the consumer advocates at [email protected] You can also ask questions about nutrition on this website.