'British Diets' and National Favourite Foods are Detrimental to Longer Life, Experts Warn

Edward Cooper
·2-min read

White bread, butter, jam, fruit juice and chocolate are some of the most popular 'British foods', but experts are warning that a diet heavy in these ingredients (and more) could be detrimental to life expectancy.

These high-calorie staples — sugar and sweetened drinks were also included — were identified in research from the University of Oxford that explored the relationship between products that are high in calories, fat and sugar and the correlation with heart disease risk.

Analysing data from the food diaries of over 116,000 people across an average of 4.9 years, the University of Oxford research team saw that 4,245 participants developed cardiovascular disease and had heart attacks or strokes. The diets regularly featuring high fat and/or high-sugar foods were linked to a higher risk of heart disease and even death.

The study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, saw that the risk of being closely matched with these dietary patterns could see heart disease risk hike by up to 40 per cent.

"The most common dietary guidelines are based on the nutrients found in foods rather than foods themselves and this can be confusing for the public," said Dr. Carmen Piernas, who worked on the study. "Our findings help identify specific foods and beverages that are commonly eaten in Britain and that may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality."

"Cardiovascular disease is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK and poor diet is a major contributor to this."

"Our research suggests that eating less chocolate, confectionery, butter, low-fibre bread, sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juice, table sugar and preserves could be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease or death during middle-age."

"This is consistent with previous research which has suggested that eating foods that contain less sugar and fewer calories may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The findings of this study could be used to create food-based dietary advice that could help people eat more healthily and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease."

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