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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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Micha R, Penalvo J, Cudhea F. Association Between Dietary Factors and Mortality From Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States. 2017;317(9):912-924.
  2. "Fish And Omega-3 Fatty Acids". org. N.p., 2017. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.