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Some foods could take minutes off your life while others add minutes, says study

Researchers have established a scale that ranks thousands of foods according to their health benefits.

This nutritional health index is scaled in time: from 74 minutes lost to 80 gained depending on the portion ingested. In addition to nutritional qualities, this guide also includes environmental data.

Choosing your food wisely could allow you to slash your carbon footprint by a third and gain 48 healthy minutes per day.

This study, published in the scientific journal Nature Food on Aug. 18, 2021, analyzes 5,853 foods that are consumed in the United States, from leeks to hot dogs.

Not surprisingly, eating too much meat is bad for your health, these scientists outline in their analysis. A hot dog can thus cause a loss of 36 minutes of healthy life. Red meat, 6 minutes and 29 seconds. On the other hand, fruits can add 11 minutes and 54 seconds, vegetables add 2 minutes and 10 seconds.

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The study concludes that replacing just 10% of daily caloric intake from beef and processed meat with fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and seafood could result in substantial health improvements of 48 minutes per person per day and a 33% reduction in the carbon footprint of eating. So far, nothing out of the ordinary.

However, some findings from the study are more surprising. That American classic, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, for example, could add 33 minutes. That’s three times more than fruit. Meanwhile, candy could add 28 seconds of life while sugar causes loss of one second of life.

To justify the validity of their scale, the scientists specify that it is a theoretical scale, intended to apply better choices, without radically changing our diet. JB



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