Dietary Factors Associated with Cardio-Metabolic Deaths

Dietary Factors Associated with Cardio-Metabolic Deaths

Do you ever wish that dietary advice could be simplified? Your wish may be granted; all thanks to a recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), published a report March 7th, 2017 titled: “Association Between Dietary Factors and Mortality from Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States”.1

In this report 10 dietary factors were associated with cardio-metabolic deaths (cardio-metabolic refers to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes).1

The following 10 foods/nutrients were identified as being associated with cardio-metabolic diseases:1

  1. Sodium
  2. Unprocessed Red Meat
  3. Processed Meat
  4. Sugar Sweetened Beverages
  5. Polyunsaturated fat
  6. Seafood, rich in omega 3 fats
  7. Fruits
  8. Vegetables
  9. Whole Grains
  10. Nut/Seeds

According to JAMA the greatest number of cardio-metabolic deaths were related to high intakes of: sodium, processed meats, sugar sweetened beverages and low intakes of: nuts/seeds, seafood rich in omega 3 fats, vegetables, and fruits.

Tips for decreasing sodium

  • Start by removing the salt shaker from the table
  • Eat fresh, minimally processed foods
  • Limit fast food consumption
  • Use herbs and spices to season foods

Tips for decreasing processed meats

  • Steer clear of the deli-counter at the grocery store
  • For sandwiches, try fresh slices of turkey breast, egg salad or tuna salad
  • Try a meatless option. Make sandwiches with hummus, bean spread, or a nut spread (i.e. peanut butter, almond, or cashew butter).

Tips for decreasing sugar-sweetened beverages

  • Replace pop, juice, lemonade with one of the following beverages
    • Water
    • Fresh lemon slices and sparkling water
    • Fresh lime slices and mint leaves in ice-cold water
    • Unsweetened tea
    • Unsweetened almond milk

Tips for increasing nuts and seeds

  • Have roasted almonds as a low carb snack
  • Top spinach salad with walnuts
  • Celery stick with sunflower seed butter
  • Coat chicken breast or white fish with crusted cashews (instead of bread crumbs)

Tips for increasing seafood with Omega 3 fats

  • Replace meat and/or poultry meals twice weekly for fish. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish two times a week.2
    • Salmon, mackerel, lake trout, and albacore tuna are all rich in omega 3 fats
  • Try sushi. Sashimi sushi, is the fish without the rice, making it a nearly carb free option.

Tips for increasing vegetables

  • Replace your sandwich at lunch for a salad. Salads can be loaded with vegetables, which are mostly low in carbohydrates.
  • When out to eat, ask for a side of vegetables instead of fries/potato chips
  • Replace high carb snack foods with low carb veggies and ranch dip

Tips for increasing fruits

(This is tricky as many of you may limit/avoid fruit due to fruits higher carb content)

  • Top salads with low glycemic index fruits, such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and/or pears.
  • Mix low glycemic index fruits (some listed above) into plain Greek yogurt.
  • Instead of cereal for breakfast try ½ grapefruit with cottage cheese.
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