All of us know that some foods are bad for us and choose to eat them anyway because – quite simply – they taste too good.
But if you were told exactly how much you could be reducing your life span before every bite, would you still do it? Would you trade one hot dog for 36 minutes of your life, for example?
Well according to experts, that’s exactly what you’re doing as a study by the University of Michigan claims the snack could cost you more than half an hour of healthy life.
During a study, experts evaluated 5,853 foods to determined the minutes of life gained or lost when eaten, as well as their impact on the environment.
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It found that some foods could take as much as 74 minutes off healthy life, and others could put 80 minutes on.
As well as 36 minutes gone for tucking into a hot dog, it suggested one serving of chicken wings will set you back 3.3 minutes and vegetable pizza 1.4 minutes.
Unsurprisingly, processed meats and sugary drinks were found to do us no favours, taking minutes away from our lives, but choices such as nuts, fruits and some fish can add minutes back on.
On a chart tracking the impact of each food, peanut butter and jam sandwiches were one of the standout performers for helping you add time onto a healthy life, with the study suggesting it can give you 33 minutes per serving – but we’re assuming this is when eaten in moderation, so don’t gorge on them and expect to live forever.
The findings from the study state: “Our analysis also indicated that substituting only 10 per cent of daily caloric intake from beef and processed meat for fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and selected seafood could offer substantial health improvements of 48 min gained per person per day and a 33 per cent reduction in dietary carbon footprint.”
If you want your diet to help you live as long as possible, researchers suggested decreasing your intake of foods such as high-processed meat, beef, shrimp, pork, lamb, and greenhouse-grown vegetables.
Instead, try to introduce more nutritionally beneficial foods, including field-grown fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, and low-environmental impact seafood.