According to UNAM, Mexicans prefer to eat ultra-processed foods and red meat than beans and corn

Nicole Galvan


freelance journalist. Unofficial taste of pot coffee in jars and potatoes in all its presentations. Fan of expressing her love language through food and mouli, true crime reader, godmother of 6 cats, and lover of singing while cooking. I write for Directo al Paladar México.

Expert academics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) conducted a study on the diet of Mexicans, and the results were surprising because the population prefers to eat ultra-processed foods and red meat instead of eating dishes containing beans and corn.

Mexican population leans more towards diet ‘carnivorous’ It surprises almost no one and you probably eat more ultra-processed foods than you know or realize, the point of concern among experts is the long-term adverse health effects.

What do Mexicans eat?

The National Autonomous University of Mexico conducted a study titled “Socioeconomic and demographic determinants of food consumption in Mexico”, and was published in the journal PLoS One. The following results were obtained from this study.

According to the results of this study, in the southern region, especially in rural areas, a diet based on corn and beans is preserved, while in the north and central cities there is a higher consumption of red meat. According to Louis Guibrunet, researcher at the UNAM Institute of Geography:

“The traditional Mexican diet, previously dominant in the country, is now the staple diet for a small part of the population that barely reaches 6%.”

The remaining 94% replace their basic diet with wheat and meat, with serious consequences for health and sustainability. These changes are called nutritional transition Ana Gabriela Ortega, subject professor at the Faculty of Medicine and co-author of the research, which deals with the epidemiology of disease prevalence and causes of death, said.

“For example, there were more infections before and now chronic diseases are increasing,” Ortega said. (…) Nutritional changes contribute to people becoming sick more often from diet-related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.”

Beans on the side and meat as main meal

Image obtained from Food & Health UNAM

The replacement of beans with meat has researchers deeply concerned about the impact it has on the environment, especially with the consumption of beef beans.

Comparing the production of a kilo of beans with a kilo of red meat, 30 to 100 times more greenhouse gases are emitted; Six to 40 times more agricultural area is required; Four to seven times more water and it becomes eutrophic – that is, it is provided with excess inorganic nutrients from human activities – and 40 to 50 times more water.

sustainable and healthy food

In this study he reported that traditional farming systems, such as milpa, “They have benefits in terms of environmental services, as they preserve biodiversity (biological and cultural) and are more resilient to climate change”, Obviously, eating most vegetable proteins like beans is recommended, and crops are produced in an environmentally friendly way to ensure a healthy and sustainable diet.

In Directo al Paladar Mexico You can also read Goodbye to meat: This is what happens to your body if you stop eating red meat

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