Yes, the modern diet–which is often high in fatty and sugary foods–contributes to clogged arteries and heart disease. But a recent study suggests that these ailments have been around a lot longer than fast food.
Using CT scanning technology, neurobiologist Caleb Finch of the University of Southern California examined the arteries of 137 mummies from five different archaeological sites around the world that spanned 4,000 years. The results revealed that despite varying diets–from grain-based to those heavy on fish and meat–mummies from all the populations showed calcium deposits in their arteries, a form of heart disease called atherosclerosis.
While poor diets have caused heart disease to increase over the last century, the findings suggest that it may also be an unavoidable part of human aging.