Gravitas: Want a healthier life? Rearrange your platter
- The University of Michigan conducted a study assessing the impact of 5,800 foods on both human health and the environment. They used a Health Nutritional Index (HEI) to rank foods based on 15 dietary risk factors.
- Eating a hot dog could rob you of 36 minutes of healthy life, while munching on nuts could give you an extra 26 minutes. Foods like fruits, starchy vegetables, and seafood add “healthy minutes,” whereas red meat, pizza, and even milk can subtract from your health.
- The study also threw a curveball by considering the environmental impact of foods. If a food contributes to global warming, it can’t be deemed entirely “healthy.”
- Popular foods like frankfurter sandwiches, corned beef, and peanut butter were among the culprits taking away precious healthy minutes. Even seemingly good choices like milk and poultry landed on the naughty list due to their environmental impact.
- The takeaway? Small dietary changes, like opting for sardines over corned beef or apple pie over vegetable pizza, can make a big difference in your health and even add more time to your life clock, according to the researchers.