The results from a medical study published recently in The Lancet showed diets with higher sodium intake were a dietary risk factor that led to premature deaths. These findings shed further light on the effects of not eating a balanced diet. Consequently, people with suboptimal diets were at risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), like diabetes and heart disease.
The negative effects of not eating a balanced diet can lead to serious consequences, study finds
The study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, looked at data spanning over 20 years. Researchers found that 11 million people died as a result of not eating enough of certain foods. Also, eating too much food with sodium also contributed to premature deaths for people aged 25 and older. Foods with too much sodium led to 3 million deaths, whereas not eating enough nuts and grains led to 3 million deaths, and having too few fruits contributed to the early deaths of 2 million people.
The data was taken from global sources, although the results may have differed if there were more countries that had these statistics available.
The effects of not eating a balanced diet are particularly worrying. Mainly because your diet is something within your control, making it a preventable risk to developing NCDs. So what can you do to avoid eating too much sodium and eating more healthily?
Simple tips to eat more fruits, veggies, and nuts
Different countries have their own ideas of what a balanced plate of food looks like. But Canada believes it involves eating less meat and more veggies. And eating more veggies will both boost your immune system, as well as help heal acne scars! Fruits are also very easy to include in your diet if you’re not eating enough. If you don’t have time to prepare and eat fruit, then smoothies are the way to go. In fact, you can blend your favourite fruits into cooling smoothies so you don’t melt under the sun.
Including more nuts in your diet is simple. You can simply prepare a few in a container and bring them with you to work as a snack. Or you can even blend them into your smoothies! Nuts are a great source of fibre which helps you stay fuller for longer, and improve your digestive system overall.
And most importantly, don’t forget to drink more water!