Importance Of Diet

What We Put Into Our Bodies Says Everything About Our Future Health, Start Paying Attention

A lack of healthy foods and an increasing concentration of salt has led to approximately one in five deaths globally.


Nutrition is one of the most essential factors of longevity for humans, tied directly into our ability to combat stress responses (stimulated by sympathetic nervous system activity) as well as perform our day-to-day activities by providing us with necessary nourishment. Our bodies primarily utilize glucose as a source of fuel by converting it via glycolysis into pyruvate, which then gets shuffled through the krebs cycle and the electron transport chain (both dependent upon the presence of oxygen as an electron acceptor) before ultimately being converted into ATP, the primary source of biological energy.

In the absence of oxygen, we undergo anaerobic respiration in which our glucose stores undergo glycolysis and then fermentation in order to produce a limited amount of ATP, which also causes the production of lactate as a by-product, resulting in muscle soreness. Excessive consumption of glucose causes its conversion into fatty materials such as glycerol and ketone bodies, which can then be eventually broken down via β-oxidation in the mitochondria to produce ATP in the absence of insulin activity (noticeably prevalent amongst diabetics).

The manner by which our body receives this fuel is through our consumption of food, and what we choose to put into our bodies reveals a great deal of how our health conditions will develop over an extended period of time. A recent study analyzing global diet over a 27 year span concluded that a lack of healthy foods and an increasing concentration of salt has led to approximately one in five deaths globally — about 11 million people — in 2017, according to Lead Author Ashkan Afshin, an assistant professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Afshin and his colleagues observed 15 dietary risk factors — such as high levels of red and unprocessed meat, as well as low levels of vegetables and fibrous fare — and their subsequent impacts on death and disability. They concluded that for most countries, the three main causes of global diet-related death in 2017 were eating too much salt, not enough whole grains, and not enough fruit, regardless of socioeconomic levels.

Conditions developing from diet-related deaths in 2017 varied extensively by country, with 10 million coming from cardiovascular disease, cancer-causing 913,000 deaths and type II diabetes (a condition in which high levels of glucose are prevalent due to a lack of insulin receptor activity) accounted for 339,000 deaths. Uzbekistan had the highest number of diet-related deaths, followed by Afghanistan and the Marshall Islands.

For nations such as the United States and Germany, a lack of whole grains was the highest risk factor in the development of diet-related conditions, while others such as China and Thailand suffered from excessive sodium levels in the diet attributed to rice vinegars, sauces, and pastes used to make traditional Asian food. Some nations such as Mexico simply suffered a lack of access to clean water and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Policymakers have responded to the plight detailed in the study with calls for the recognition of unhealthy diet as a high risk factor in the Global Burden of Disease, with Francesco Branca, director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring 2016 to 2025 the UN Decade of Action of Nutrition. Such a wide-ranging initiative will collectively pull together a coordinated effort amongst governments to focus resources to combat the dangers inherent in poor dietary lifestyle. Only time will tell whether or not these actions will bring about positive change in global nutrition.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

For a long time, Goya has been a staple in some Latino households. People carry around jars of Adobo when they eat at friend's houses and packets of Sazón Goya can be found in almost everyone's pantry. Many BuzzFeed lists, videos, and memes aimed at Latinos reference Goya somewhere.

But in a year that just keeps hitting us with bad news, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said that Trump was an "incredible builder" and that the US was "blessed" to have him as president at a White House event on Thursday.

Keep Reading... Show less

Raven Baxter Was Our Favorite Teen Fashion Icon And We're Still Recreating Her Best Looks, Here

We take a look at Disney's most fashion-forward show to recreate some iconic looks.

Disney Plus

I grew up in the early 2000s. And, like any child at the time, I was hooked on Disney Channel shows. My favorite was and is "That's So Raven."

Raven is a teenage psychic navigating life in hopes of not revealing her powers. Only her family and close friends know she has them. Her powers oftentimes get her in trouble, which is where the comedy comes in. But, they also teach her and her friends sentimental life lessons.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sobriety is so underrated, even when it comes to healthcare. The instant gratification of a substance or drink isn't exactly as gratifying as some people may think. For those of you who've never been hungover, consider yourself lucky — a hangover is biologically horrifying. A hangover is not instant gratification, so who are we kidding when people say "it just feels good." Being healthy actually feels good and won't hurt you or your bank account in the morning. The best way to be healthy is to choose sobriety.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ah, yes. The juice cleanse. Yet another popular diet trend that promises to magically solve all of your health, nutrition, and weight issues.

When you take a close look, juice cleanses aren't as magical as they are made out to be, and in fact, they might do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less

Unauthorized Plastic Surgery Is Totally Unethical, And Happening WAY More Often Than We Know ‬

Plastic surgery for cosmetic enhancements has you looking more botched than beautiful and it’s painful to see.

Coming from someone who could afford numerous cosmetic enhancing procedures I would never in a million years cut up my face or my body. I'm pretty emphatic and when I watch these brainwashed victims with bandages and chronic inflammation (swollen lips) I literally feel their pain.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've never been big on casual wear or athleisure. Most people who know me have never seen me in sweats. But, I do have those two or three pairs of sweats I can't resist climbing into the second I get home, the newest addition of which is the extra cozy Odyssey crewneck sweatshirt I got in an XL size to feel as close to being wrapped in a blanket at all times as possible.

In the past several months, I've started to expand my horizons, considering the ways in which I can bring my small wardrobe of comfortable bedroom clothing into the public. I've experimented with topping leggings and a sports bra with a denim jacket to the park, and an oversized sweatshirt worn as a dress, cinched at the waist with a belt when I'm out wearing leggings.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Dress Like Your Favorite 'Insecure' Characters — Without Spending $2,000

We take a look at the fashion of Insecure season 4, and how you can create these looks yourself.


Insecure is one of my favorite shows ever. It really encapsulates what it's like being a Black 20-something, trying to navigate the many ups and downs of life. Issa, Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany are living their best lives in California while dealing with the twists and turns that come with that.

From life to relationships to careers, this show truly captures everything that runs through my mind on a daily basis. The show has a sense of realness and a strong frankness that makes you gravitate toward the characters and root for their success.

Keep Reading... Show less

Making A Food Instagram Was The Greatest Silver Lining To Come Out Of My COVID-19 Experience

With the crazy and scary times that 2020 has brought, find comfort in the one thing everyone loves: food.

The waiter briskly moves towards us and stops just a foot away table, balancing the black serving tray stacked high with the ceramic plates that make-up our dinner. From memorization, he beings gently, but purposely, sliding everyone's orders in front of them and within seconds I'm am starring my meal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments