Researchers released a nutritional index this week aiming to inform guidelines and help Americans achieve healthier and more environmentally stable diets. The index ranked foods by minutes gained or lost off healthy life per serving, with processed meats and sugary drinks among the biggest offenders.
The foods studied ranged from 74 minutes lost to 80 minutes gained per serving. Sugary drinks, hotdogs, burgers and breakfast sandwiches were linked with most minutes of healthy life lost, whereas fruits, non-starchy and mixed vegetables, ready-to-eat cereals and cooked grains were associated with the largest gains.
More specifically, researchers found that consuming one 85-gram serving of chicken wings translated to 3.3 minutes of life lost, owing to sodium and harmful trans fatty acids, while a beef hotdog on a bun resulted in some 36 minutes lost “largely due to the detrimental effect of processed meat,” study authors wrote. What’s more, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were associated with a positive increase of 33 added minutes.
If this is true, then it’s a wonder that Joey Chesnut and Takeru Kobayashi are still alive. Just this past July, Chestnut ate 76 hot dogs and buns, which means that he shaved 2,736 minutes off his life. He’s only 37 years old but might not make it past 50. God only knows what you’d find if you opened up that man’s arteries and took a look inside.
But if peanut butter and jelly can add 33 minutes to you life, then sign me up. I’m spreading the Jif on the Artesano bread right now. Extra crunchy though, because nobody eats smooth peanut butter.