Bad food choices are the cause of almost half of all heart-related deaths in the US, a new study found. 

Researchers from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston looked at the eating habits outlined in data collected by national health and nutrition surveys and the links to deaths caused by heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

They found that eating too little or too much of 10 specific nutrient groups was associated with an estimated 45 percent of deaths from those three conditions, and that the link between diet and death was stronger in men than women.

The Times broke down the findings into an easy to read format, as follows:

  • Steer clear of large amounts of sodium and of processed meats in general.
  • Avoid entirely sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Eat more fruit, seafood offering omega-3 fats (such as salmon, sardines or tuna), seeds and nuts, vegetable, whole grains and polyunsaturated fats (which can be found in fatty fish, sunflower and other plant-based oils, and some seeds and nuts including walnuts and sunflower seeds).

Renata Micha, the lead author of the study, told wbur that she was amazed that people and policymakers forgot a “simple yet vital truth.”

“Eating healthy can and will prevent people from dying from premature heart disease, stroke and diabetes. If we remember that simple fact, most of us can have healthier and better lives,” she said.

Do you follow any healthy eating guidelines or mostly eat what you fancy? Do you think eating certain foods or avoiding others can help you live longer?