Why do people live? The answer to this question is not always simple, often someone will say they want to leave a legacy, become famous, make the world a better place or pass on something to their children. But how many of us are truly prepared for the end when it comes?
Death is inevitable and yet most of us go our entire lives without giving much thought about how we want to spend the final chapter of our book. This article takes a look at eight foods that can shorten your life span and help you figure out which ones you should remove from your diet!
1. French Fries
Quantity: 4-5 servings per week / Daily consumption of French fries reduces life expectancy by 6 years / French fries contain acrylamide, a chemical produced when starchy foods are baked, roasted or fried at high temperatures.
French fries may be tasty and delicious but they certainly aren’t good for your health. According to research done at the University of California in San Diego, eating French fries more than two times a week can dramatically reduce your lifespan by 6 years! Researchers found that the culprit behind this is excess acrylamide, a chemical found in these types of potatoes which is created during the cooking process. For those who need to seek out other sources of starch in order to fulfill their daily carbohydrate requirements, you’ll be happy to know that there are many alternatives including sweet potatoes although many doctors recommend sticking with whole grain options.
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Quantity: 2 servings per week / Daily consumption of doughnuts reduces life expectancy by 3 years / Doughnuts, like French fries, contain high levels of acrylamide.
Doughnuts are often seen as a more sinful food choice than other unhealthy snacking alternatives like chocolate bars or chips. However, what most people don’t realize is that any type of baked goods can be detrimental to your health. People who eat doughnuts on a regular basis have an 18% higher risk of developing heart disease while also having a lower quality and duration of life according to researchers at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. Similarly, to French fries, one reason behind this is the presence of acrylamide which forms when foods are heated above 120 degrees Celsius. As a rule of thumb, the more golden brown a food is, the more acrylamide it contains!
Quantity: 4 servings per week/ Daily consumption of bacon reduces life expectancy by 3 years / Bacon contains N-Acytelglycine which has been linked to digestive problems and heart disease.
There’s no denying that bacon is delicious tasting but you might want to think twice before reaching for another slice next time you fry some up. According to researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, eating just four servings per week can reduce your lifespan by three years whereas eating processed meats like sausage and salami on a daily basis can also decrease your overall quality of life. Researchers have suggested that part of the reason why processed meats are so bad for you is because they contain N-Acetylglycine (NAG) which has been linked to digestive problems and heart disease.
4. Ice Cream
Quantity: 2 servings per week / Daily consumption of ice cream reduces life expectancy by 1 year / Ice cream contains high levels of saturated fat, sugar and calories.
Everyone likes to indulge in a sweet treat every now and then, which is why it can be difficult to give up something like ice cream when you start thinking about your overall health. However, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, eating just two servings per week can reduce your lifespan by one year whereas eating frozen desserts on a daily basis can decrease your quality of life by up to 9 years. The culprit behind this is the combination of high levels of saturated fat, sugar and calories which are all ingredients that can contribute to heart disease – something that if left untreated, can affect how you live your daily life.
5. Salty Snacks
Quantity: 1 serving per day / Daily consumption of salty snacks reduces life expectancy by about a year / Eating a high sodium diet over time increases blood pressure and can lead to heart disease.
If you’re a fan of snacking then you should be aware that it might have an effect on how long you live for. According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, eating just one snack per day can reduce your life expectancy by about a year. The reason behind this is because foods high in sodium have been linked to various chronic diseases such as hypertension which can play a key role in causing cardiovascular damage and ultimately death.
6. Red Meat
Quantity: 3 servings per week / Daily consumption of red meat reduces life expectancy by 1 year / Researchers found individuals who consumed 2 or more servings of red meat daily had a shorter lifespan than those who ate less than 1 serving per week.
Red meat is one of the most controversial types of food in terms of its overall health benefits. For some people, red meat is an essential source of protein and when balanced out with vegetables and carbohydrates, it can actually benefit your health. However, according to researchers at AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) in Washington D.C., individuals who ate 2 or more servings of red meat daily had a shorter lifespan than those who ate less than 1 serving per week whereas eating three servings per week can reduce your life expectancy by about a year. One reason for this is because high levels of saturated fat are associated with coronary heart disease which over time contributes to chronic diseases such as hypertension which can affect both mental ability and physical ability of your body.
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7. Deep Fried Food
Quantity: 1 serving per day / Daily consumption of deep-fried food reduces life expectancy by about a 3 months / Researchers have found participants who regularly ate fried foods also had an increased risk for mortality due to various chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Believe it or not, but some people love to eat ‘dirty’ food that has been deep-fried in oil which is often times used over and over again until it becomes extremely rancid. According to researchers at Harvard University in Boston, daily consumption of par-fried food can decrease your life expectancy by about a year whereas eating 1 serving per week can reduce your lifespan by about three months. The reason why deep-fried food is so dangerous to your health is because it contains high levels of oxidation which can trigger various chronic disease processes such as hypertension and cardiovascular damage.
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8. Sugary Drinks
Quantity: 1 serving per day / Daily consumption of sugary drinks reduces life expectancy by about 3 months / Drinking one sugar-sweetened beverage a day could increase your risk for type 2 diabetes by up to 22 percent in the long term.
Finally, if you love drinking soft drinks or other types of sugary beverages then you should know that it may have an effect on how long you live for. According to research from the US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, individuals who drank one sugar sweetened beverage a day could increase their risk for type 2 diabetes by up to 22 percent in the long term. Although researchers have found individuals who drank one serving per day had a reduced life expectancy of about three months, regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to severe chronic diseases such as hypertension and cardiovascular damage especially over a long period of time.
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Although snacking is not necessarily bad as it has been linked with several health benefits such as improved cognitive function as well as an increased alertness, daily consumption of salty snacks, red meat or deep-fried foods can reduce your lifespan by about a year whereas drinking just one serving per day of any sugary beverage could also shorten your lifespan by about 3 months. Therefore, try to avoid snacking when you are too hungry and always make sure that your snacks contain a healthy balance of carbohydrates and proteins and do not consist of deep-fried food or sugary beverages. Also, remember to drink lots of water throughout the day because it can help to detoxify various body tissues whereas not drinking enough water over time has been linked with increased oxidative stress which can affect both mental ability and physical function in the long term.