(ConservativeInsider.org) – The standards of what America’s leading doctors consider healthy have changed over time, making it difficult for many to fully understand what foods they should actually eat. A doctoral candidate and postdoctoral fellow University of Michigan’s School of Public Health published a study detailing foods that could shorten one’s life and others that can extend it, hoping to give new guidance and encouragement to those struggling with what to eat.
The Hot Dog Gets a Bad Rap
The journal Nature food published this new study outlining the impact of different food on both human and environmental health. Researchers developed a new nutritional index they call the Health Nutritional Index, or HENI for short. The index reflects the food’s “health burden” by showing how many minutes of life the food gives or takes away from a person’s life.
When researchers analyzed a hot dog, they calculated it would cost the average person 36 minutes of their life, “largely due to the detrimental effect of processed meat.” World champion competitive eater Joey Chestnut, who has eaten 1,094 hot dogs in one sitting, joked about the study on Twitter:
Interesting, I might need to eat more nuts to get time back. Or… Researchers at University of Michigan could be working for Russia https://t.co/4aTcOHk77e
— Joey Chestnut (@joeyjaws) August 23, 2021
Researchers labeled heavily processed meats, including pork, lamb, and beef, as “red zone” foods that people should try to stay away from. But, they balanced out the bad news by saying, in theory, certain foods that can add minutes to your day.
Healthy Foods to Earn Back Lost Time
The study outlined that switching out 10% of people’s beef and processed meat intake with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes could add 48 minutes to a person’s day. Researchers labeled these healthier foods “green zone” foods. They also focused on these foods’ impact on the environment, noting that this would also cut one’s carbon footprint by one-third.
Other examples of “green zone” foods include salted peanuts, rice and beans, and baked salmon, which can each add between 10 to 15 minutes to your days. For an even healthier boost, pick up a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich to add over a half hour to your life.
Too Many Rules Around Eating? Try the 80-20 Rule
It can often seem like there are too many rules of what someone should or should not eat. In reality, stressing about food intake too much can also be detrimental to one’s health. Researchers emphasized that at the end of the day, try to have about 80% of the food you eat to be fresh and nutritious. For the other 20%, feel free to indulge in that hot dog or ice cream cone.
After all, food should bring joy.
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