Eating More — Or Less — Of 10 Foods May Cut Risk Of Early Death March 11, 2017 7:00 AM ET


Consuming a diet that contains high amounts of red and processed meat such as bacon was linked to 8 percent of cardiometabolic deaths in the U.S.

Paul Taylor/Getty Images

About half of all U.S. deaths from heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes are linked to poor diets, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

And eating more — or less — of just 10 types of food can help raise or lower the risk of death from these causes.

Scientists at Tufts University identified the foods that seem to contribute the most to the risk. At the top of the list? Salt. Consuming too much salt was associated with 9.5 percent of the deaths.

Next — and I sympathize with all of you who love to eat these — high intake of red meat and processed meats such as bacon was linked to 8 percent of the deaths. And sugary drinks were a factor in 7.4 percent of the deaths.

We know, it may be tough to cut back on foods you love. Bacon is so alluring to many that it has even been called the ‘gateway’ to meat for vegetarians!

But, here’s the flip side: The researchers also found there’s a significant risk in eating too little of certain healthy foods. So, think of it this way: You can start consuming more of the foods that are protective.

For instance, the study found that low consumption of nuts and seeds was linked to about 9 percent of deaths.

In addition, diets low in seafood, whole grains and fruits and vegetables were found to contribute to about 6-8 percent of the deaths.

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