Health Advice



Food's power to cause illness and its power to heal

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

According to a study on the impact of diet on health published in The Lancet, poor diets were responsible for 10.9 million deaths, or 22% of all deaths among adults in 130 countries in 2017. The Lancet study also concluded that non-optimal intake of whole grains, fruits and sodium accounts for half of all diet-related deaths.

The Lancet study also showed that high-incomers in North America had the greatest consumption of processed meat.

I've long said that processed meats are terrible for your health -- and now a major health agency in France agrees. They've confirmed the connection between the nitrites found in processed meats and colorectal cancer. And that comes after the World Health Organization's 2015 conclusion that processed meats should be classified as a group 1 carcinogen. Little wonder that the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 106,180 new cases of colon cancer and 44,850 new cases of rectal cancer in 2022 in the U.S. Do I need to say it? "Don't eat processed meat."

On the other hand, the power of good food choices is clearly revealed in research published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Researchers found that folks who eat plenty of fresh fruit are less depressed and cognitively sharper than folks who don't. (They also found that those who eat salty, fatty snacks have more symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.) Getting a minimum of 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit daily (no sugar added) should help your outlook -- as it helps your digestive and heart health and reduces your risk of some cancers.



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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