A healthy diet provides the body with energy for all vital functions. An unhealthy diet, on the other hand, can cause various diseases. Researchers have now discovered that three eating habits are particularly likely to lead to cardiovascular disease and death.

According to the researchers, anyone who combines one or more of these eating habits has a particularly high risk of fatal cardiovascular disease. Experts use this term to mean a disease that originates in the blood vessels or the heart, such as coronary heart disease or a heart attack.

This finding was based on data from the extensive “Global Burden of Digestive Diseases Study”. As part of this study, scientists collected data from 204 countries between 1990 and 2019. In their current evaluation, the researchers focused on European countries and the connection between dietary habits, cardiovascular diseases and deaths.

In total, around 1.55 million so-called diet-related cardiovascular deaths were recorded in these countries. That means 1.55 million people who died from cardiovascular disease that was related to a suboptimal diet.

Of these, 1.55 million deaths occurred

According to the study, most of the diet-related deaths in Western Europe occurred in Germany (112,601). In terms of population, Finland leads the statistics.

If you want to prevent diet-related illnesses, you should consider the following three tips:

1. Whole grain products instead of white flour

When it comes to bread, pasta, rice and flour, you should always choose the whole grain version. According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), the best choice because “foods made from whole grains fill you up for longer and contain more vitamins and minerals than white flour products.”

2. Eat legumes more often

Whether lentils, soybeans, lupins, green beans, kidney beans or chickpeas: the DGE also advises incorporating legumes into your diet more often. Because they provide vitamin B1, B6, folate as well as iron, magnesium and zinc.

“They are high in protein, making them a good meat alternative. The fiber it also contains ensures long-lasting satiety,” says the DGE.

With the exception of peanuts, which are also legumes, most varieties are low in fat and low in calories.

3. Pay attention to the salt content

An adult should eat a maximum of six grams of table salt per day. That’s roughly equivalent to a teaspoon. Most Germans eat significantly more.

The DGE recommends seasoning at home with spices and herbs instead of salt. Re-salting food is not necessarily a problem. We consume most of the salt through finished products, some of which contain large amounts of salt as a flavor enhancer and preservative.

You should pay particular attention to the salt content of bread, meat, sausage and cheese, recommends the DGE: “If the sodium content is stated on packaged foods, the table salt content can be calculated by multiplying the stated sodium content by 2.54. Since December 2016, the table salt content has to be listed as a mandatory information in food labeling.”

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