Study looks at impact of food choices on life expectancy

Study looks at impact of food choices on life expectancy

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While most young adults give little thought to aging, a new study shows that those under 20 could add a significant number of years to their life expectancy by changing their diet.

What happens if a 20-year-old transitions from a typical Western diet to one that includes more legumes, whole grains and nuts, and less red and processed meat? According to researchers at the University of Bergen, Norway, women can expect to live 10.7 years longer and men 13 years longer.


Based on meta-analyses and data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, researchers used life table methodology to estimate how life expectancy changes with sustained changes in food consumption. certain foods.

What does a longevity diet look like?

In this study, it was the consumption of beans, or legumes, which improved life expectancy the most, followed by that of whole grains, nuts and reducing the consumption of red meat. This type of diet is very similar to an anti-inflammatory diet, which is designed to reduce unwanted markers of inflammation and help the body function optimally. The anti-inflammatory diet provides the body with an abundance of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, flavonols and nutritional compounds that reduce inflammation.

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The optimal diet is characterized by a significantly higher consumption of whole grains, legumes, fish, fruits and vegetables than a typical diet, to which is added a handful of nuts, as well as a reduction in consumption of red and processed meats, sugary drinks and refined grains. The feasible diet, characterized by moderate changes in these foods, is linked to a lower life expectancy than the optimal diet.

The tool used by researchers to calculate this data is available to the public in the form of a calculator. It allows you to see which foods are important for health as you age, and to see how you can add years, or even decades, to your life. You can access it right here: Food Healthy

In conclusion, sustainable dietary change can provide substantial health gains for people of all ages, for both the optimized and feasible diets. The study shows that the anticipated gains will be even greater if dietary changes are undertaken early in life.

This study confirms several other researches carried out over decades, having even caught the attention of Martin Juneau, cardiologist and director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute.

“It corresponds to what we have been saying for years and what is recommended. If we exclude tobacco, nutritional factors are the worst factors for premature mortality and disability. We eat too much and we eat poorly. » - Martin Juneau
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Do you want to change your diet to extend your life expectancy? It's also important to make sure your diet positively affects your overall health! Medfuture offers tailored Health Profiles, such as the Vegetarian/Vegan Profile , to keep tabs on biomarkers affected by changes in your diet. Take charge of your health with Medfuture now.