The food we are eating is putting 11 million of us into an early grave every year. A study in the Lancet found, that the daily diet we are eating is a bigger killer than smoking and now causes one in five deaths around the world.
Salt shortened the highest number of lives wether in bread, soy, sauce or processed meats. The researchers say the study is not about obesity but the poor quality of diets which is causing damage to our hearts and causing cancer.
The latest analysis used estimates of the eating habits of different countries to see how often diet was shortening lives.
The most dangerous diets were those containing :
1. To0 much salt-three million deaths.
2. Too few whole grains-three million deaths.
3. Too little fruit-two million deaths.
The other major killers were low consumption of nuts, seeds, vegetables,omega-3 from seafood and fiber.
10 million out of the 11 million diet-related deaths were caused by cardiovascular disease and that is why salt is such a problem. Too much salt raises your blood pressure which can then lead to a risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Salt could also have a direct effect on the heart and blood vessels. Which can lead to heart failure which is when the heart does not work effectively.
The opposite effect is found from fruit and vegetables and whole grains. they are cardioprotective and lower the risk of heart problems.
Cancer and type 2 diabetes made up the rest of the diet related deaths.
The biggest problem in the UK is a lack of whole grains, fruit, vegetables and nuts and seeds in our diets. The study estimates 14% of UK deaths are related to diet with 127 diet-related deaths per 100,000 people a year.
Israel had the lowest number of diet related deaths 89 per 100,000 people and Uzbekistan has the highest diet related deaths 892 per 100,000 people.
Prof Murray said whatever weight you are diet quality really matters. Bad diets are knocking a couple of years of life expectancy around the world.