Add eight years to your life ‘by eating less bacon and more nuts in your 40s’: Scientists rave over benefits of adopting a healthier diet in middle-age
Switching to a healthier diet in middle age can add more than eight years to your life.
For a 40-year-old woman, switching from a typical British unhealthy diet to following the NHS Eatwell Guide could help her live around eight years and seven months longer.
That could mean you live to be 86 years old instead of 77 years old.
For a 40-year-old man, the same dietary change could help extend his life expectancy by almost nine years, from dying at age 74 to almost living to age 83.
The most important dietary changes to live longer, according to a survey of more than 460,000 people in Britain, are cutting back on sugary drinks and processed meats such as sausage and bacon, while consuming more nuts and whole grains, such as those found in whole grains. grain bread and healthy breakfast cereals.
The most important dietary changes to live longer, according to a survey of more than 460,000 people in Britain, are cutting back on sugary drinks and processed meats such as sausage and bacon, while consuming more nuts and whole grains, such as those found in whole grains. grain bread and healthy breakfast cereals
The good news is that research results suggest it’s never too late to overhaul your diet.
Even 70-year-olds who switched from an unhealthy diet to strictly following the Eatwell Guide saw almost half the increase in life expectancy seen at 40-year-olds.
A 70-year-old man could live four years longer, until age 86, while a 70-year-old woman would live about four years and five months longer, beyond her 88th birthday.
The Eatwell Guide recommends people eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, while consuming plenty of starchy and protein-rich foods, and reducing intake of foods high in fat, salt and sugar.
Professor Lars Thadnes, who led the research at the University of Bergen, said: ‘Healthy eating can prevent premature deaths from things like heart attacks and strokes.
‘People who change their diet as much as possible can help achieve the goals of reducing these preventable deaths.
‘A key priority is for people to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks such as cola and lemonade, and processed meats such as bacon and sausage, and eat more whole grains and nuts.
‘The Eatwell Guide provides a framework to become more aware of what we consume.’
The research, published in the journal Nature Food, looked at 467,354 people involved in the UK Biobank study, who completed questionnaires about what they had eaten the previous year.
These people were followed over time to see the age at which they died, which revealed which types of diets were linked to longer life.
Those with unhealthy diets, who were among the fifth of people most likely to die prematurely, typically ate only a small amount of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish, white meat and milk or dairy products – or none at all no. all.
But they consumed a significant amount of processed meats, sugary drinks, eggs and refined grains – processed, rather than whole grains, such as those found in white bread, white rice and cookies.
The greatest benefits from following the Eatwell Guide were seen in people with this type of unhealthy diet.
But even those on an average diet could add more than a year to their lives by switching to following the Eatwell Guide’s recommendations at age 40.
The greatest gains in life expectancy were found among those who followed the healthiest diet among the study participants.
These people ate a high intake of vegetables, nuts, legumes such as lentils and chickpeas, and milk and dairy products, while eating small amounts of processed meats and refined grains, and not too much red meat, eggs or sugary drinks.
If people on the unhealthiest diet were to switch to the healthiest diet, the results suggest, they could add more than a decade to their life expectancy at age 40, and more than five years if they quit the diet at age 70. would implement change.
However, following the Eatwell Guide will provide about 80 percent of the benefits seen on the healthiest diet, and the guide’s simple rules may be easier for people to follow in real life.
The study found that the benefits of healthy eating were linked to life expectancy, even after taking into account other factors such as whether people smoked, the amount of alcohol they drank, their age and level of exercise.
The average Briton has half a liter of sugary drinks a day, 50 grams of processed meat, equivalent to six slices of bacon, and 100 grams of red meat, according to previous research.
Unhealthy diets are estimated to cause more than 75,000 premature deaths each year in Britain.