Salty diets low in fruit and whole grains may significantly increase mortality rate

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

A new study in the science journal Lancet suggests too much salt and not enough plant-based food may have a huge impact on people's mortality.

The study shows 11 million people die each year across the globe, partially because of what they are or are not eating, more than the number of people who die as a result of smoking.

This includes too much salt and not enough whole grains, fruit and vegetables.

One of the authors Ashkan Afshin, told NPR:

"Generally, the countries that have a diet close to the Mediterranean diet, which has higher intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy oils [including olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids from fish] are the countries where we see the lowest number of [diet-related] deaths.
"This study shows that poor diet is the leading risk factor for deaths in the majority of the countries of the world,"

Marion Nestle, professor emerita of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University told The Washington Post, that the researchers seem to be recommending a largely, but not exclusively, plant-based diet, “and that’s what everybody is saying these days.”

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