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The New Study Found that Small Diet Changes Could Improve Life Expectancy

A new Study conducted by the University of Michigan found that consuming foods like hot dogs can reduce our life span while eating nuts can help us lead a healthy life. The Study was published in the journal Nature Food. The Study by the University of Michigan evaluated 5,800 foods and ranked them by their nutritional burden to humans and their impact on the environment. They found that substituting 10% of daily caloric intake from beef and processed meats for a mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and select seafood could reduce your dietary carbon footprint by one-third and allow people to gain 48 minutes of healthy minutes per day.

Katerina Stylianou, who researched a doctoral candidate and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at U-M’s School of Public Health said that the dietary recommendations need specific and actionable direction to motivate people to change their behavior, and rarely do dietary recommendations address environmental impacts. Katerina works as the Director of Public Health Information and Data Strategy at the Detroit Health Department

The Study is based on a new epidemiology-based nutritional index, the Health Nutritional Index, which the investigators developed in collaboration with nutritionist Victor Fulgoni III from Nutrition Impact LLC. HENI calculates the net beneficial or detrimental health burden in minutes of healthy life associated with a serving of food consumed.

The index is an adaptation of the Global Burden of Disease in which disease mortality and morbidity are associated with a single food choice of an individual. For HENI, researchers used 15 dietary risk factors and disease burden estimates from the GBD and combined them with the nutrition profiles of foods consumed in the United States, based on the What We Eat in America database of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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