New study shows how to extend life expectancy by an entire decade. Here’s what you should know
‘People in their 40s who switched their unhealthy diet to a longevity-associated diet could add about 10 years to their life expectancy,’ the study read
A new study published in Nature Food found that sustaining a healthier diet can increase life expectancy to 10 years. The study analyzed the lifespan projections for 467,354 individuals who recorded their dietary patterns as part of UK Biobank research that started in 2006.
Each participant was put into a group depending on their eating patterns. “The model found that people in their 40s who switched their unhealthy diet to a longevity-associated diet could add about 10 years to their life expectancy,” per Business Insider. “The change was associated with an extra 10.8 years for women and 10.4 years for men.”
What is a longevity-associated diet?
A longevity-associated diet refers to an eating pattern linked to increased lifespan and better health outcomes. This kind of diet usually involves certain foods and eating habits that have been proven to reduce the risk of age-related diseases. Certain factors of a longevity-associated diet include:
- High amounts of fruits and vegetables.
- Healthy fats.
- Lean protein.
- Limited processed foods and sugars.
- Diversity in diet.
- Whole grains.
The study noted that this diet aligns closely with dietary patterns like the Mediterranean diet, which is known for its association with longevity and reduced risk of chronic diseases. Researchers of the study also acknowledged that “maintaining lifestyle changes over time with dietary improvements can be challenging, and for many, dietary patterns fluctuate over time.”
Foods that have the most impact on increasing lifespan
Researchers indicated that the most significant increases in life expectancy were observed in individuals who modified their eating habits to include more whole grains, nuts and fruits, while reducing their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks and processed meats:
1. Whole grains
According to Healthline, grains are made up of three parts: “the bran (the nutritious outer layer), the germ (the seed’s nutrient-rich embryo) and the endosperm (the germ’s food supply, which is high in starchy carbs).”
Here are five healthy whole-grain foods to add to your diet:
- Whole oats.
- Whole wheat.
- Whole-grain rye.
- Whole barley.
If you’re searching for a snack that is both beneficial for your health and adaptable, think about choosing healthy nuts. Nuts provide a substantial amount of plant-based protein and are also rich in heart-friendly fats, essential vitamins, and minerals, per Health.
Health also shared some of the healthiest nuts to eat plain or to incorporate into your meals:
Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower an individual’s risk of heart disease, cancer, inflammation and diabetes. Mainly, citrus fruits and berries might be exceptionally effective in disease prevention, Medical News Today emphasized with a list of fruits to add to your diet:
“The bigger the changes made towards healthier dietary patterns, the larger the expected gains in life expectancy are,” the study read. “Unsurprisingly, predicted gains in life expectancy are lower when the dietary change is initiated at older ages, but these remain substantial.”