Why TV dinners can double your risk of death

I’d be willing to bet you don’t know how much phosphorus you eat. But you should. Because I just found out that more than a third of all Americans eat a diet that’s too high in phosphorus. And according to a new study of nearly 10,000 adults, their overall mortality risk is twice as high as people with lower phosphorous intakes.

Those are absolutely stunning statistics. And they’re even more shocking when you consider phosphorus isn’t some rogue toxin. It’s an essential mineral that your body needs to function properly.

Phosphorus-rich foods include pumpkin seeds, cheese, salmon, scallops, brazil nuts, pork, beef, and lentils. All pretty healthy right? In fact, most of these foods are regular staples of my New Hamptons Health Miracle.

But these foods aren’t the main sources of phosphorus in the U.S. diet. And they’re not the ones causing the excess-phosphorus problems.

No, the excess dietary phosphorus wreaking havoc on Americans’ health is coming from food additives. And more specifically, from inorganic phosphates.

Manufacturers put these in their processed and packaged food products as preservatives, anti-caking agents, and stabilizers.

But your body absorbs these inorganic phosphates in greater quantities than the phosphorus that’s naturally present in fresh foods. And that’s a major problem. Because in excess, phosphorus can harden your arteries, cause endothelial dysfunction, and lead directly to heart attacks, strokes, and chronic kidney disease.

Just to give you an idea of the scope of this concern, let me share a few statistics. Nearly half of the 2,394 best-selling grocery brands feature phosphorus additives. That includes:

• 72 percent of all prepared frozen foods
• 70 percent of dry food mixes
• 65 percent of packaged meats
• 57 percent of bread and baked goods
• 54 percent of soups
• 51 percent of yogurts

Not surprisingly, these phosphorus-spiked foods also cost considerably less than additive-free options. So it’s no wonder they sell better, is it?

Now do you see why I think there’s a big conspiracy to make everyone in this country sick? The government subsidizes unhealthy ingredients, making them cheaper. Manufacturers invent processing techniques and chemical additives to make the resulting “frankenfoods” cheaper still. Americans then happily buy—and eat—these poisons in bulk.

It’s a brilliant system—if you happen to work in Big Agribusiness, Big Pharma, or as a lobbyist for these evil twin empires. But if you happen to be the average American?

Well you definitely got the short end of this particular stick.

But you don’t have to accept it. Opting out of this raw deal is as simple as being smarter about the food you buy. And your first step should be away from processed, chemical-laden, packaged foods—and toward fresh, organic, local protein and produce.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. If a food even has a label, that’s strike one against it. You aren’t likely to see any nutrition facts listed on the fruits, vegetables, and meats at your nearest farmer’s market. Or even in the produce and butcher section of your supermarket.

And guess what? That’s exactly where you should be doing the bulk of your shopping.


“High dietary phosphorus intake is associated with all-cause mortality: results from NHANES III.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Feb;99(2):320-7.
“The Prevalence of Phosphorus-Containing Food Additives in Top-Selling Foods in Grocery Stores.” J Ren Nutr. 2013 Jul;23(4):265-270.e2.