You are what you eat — at least that’s what they say. And for the most part that has been true. If you eat something cheap and fast, then you’ll more than likely suffer for it. Before, you’d never know just how much you’d suffer.
But now, researchers believe they have pinpointed the exact amount of time certain foods give or take away from your life.
Health researchers at the University of Michigan have found that eating a single hot dog could take 36 minutes off your life.
In their study, published this month in the journal Nature Food, researchers looked at nearly 6,000 foods in the US diet and measured their effects in minutes of healthy life gained or lost.
Olivier Jolliet, a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan, is a co-author of the new study. He tells Inverse the average hot dog has 61 grams of processed meat, which results in “27 minutes of healthy life lost due to this amount of processed meat alone.”
“When considering the other risk factors, like the sodium and trans fatty acids inside the hot dog – counterbalanced by the benefit of its polyunsaturated fat and fibers — we arrived at the final value of 36 minutes of healthy life lost per hot dog,” Jolliet says.
This alarming finding was one part of a larger study that looked at several thousand foods. The aim was to develop a “Health Nutritional Index” (HENI).
Essentially, Jolliet and colleagues evaluated different types of food — from apples and fish to soda and hot dogs — to determine their overall “health” level.