Another “Commonsense” Study Shows Healthier Diets Lead to Longer Life Expectancy
Yet One More Study Confirms: Healthier Diets Linked to Longer Life
A recent study in the United Kingdom has demonstrated that adopting healthier dietary habits, specifically those aligned with the Eatwell Guide, can significantly increase life expectancy. This study, which was published in Nature Food, involved an analysis of food intake data and health outcomes from nearly half a million UK residents. The findings suggest that by switching from a typical Western diet to a healthier one and maintaining this change, individuals can potentially add up to 10 years to their lifespan. Notably, the study examined the impact of various dietary patterns and grouped participants based on their eating habits. It was observed that a 40-year-old adult could increase their life expectancy by up to 10 years by adopting a longevity-associated diet, with a shift to the Eatwell dietary pattern potentially resulting in an increase of over 8.6 years.
The Eatwell Guide is a set of dietary guidelines developed by Public Health England to help people understand what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet. It focuses on the importance of consuming a variety of foods to obtain the necessary nutrients for good health.
Key aspects of the Eatwell Guide include:
Fruits and Vegetables: Advises that fruits and vegetables should make up over a third of the food you eat each day. This includes fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or juiced options.
Starchy Foods: Recommends that just over a third of your diet should be made up of starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, and cereals. Wholegrain or higher fiber versions with less added fat, salt, and sugar are preferred.
Protein Sources: Encourages including beans, lentils, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins in the diet. It recommends consuming at least two portions of fish each week, one of which should be oily, like salmon or mackerel.
Dairy and Dairy Alternatives: Suggests consuming some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks and yogurts), choosing lower-fat and lower-sugar options.
Oils and Spreads: Advises small amounts of unsaturated oils and spreads.
Hydration: Stresses the importance of staying hydrated, recommending 6-8 cups/glasses of fluids a day, ideally water, lower-fat milks, and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee.
Limiting Foods High in Fat, Salt, and Sugar: Suggests limiting the consumption of foods high in salt, saturated fat, and sugars. This includes choosing lower-fat and lower-sugar versions of foods and drinks.
Portion Size and Meal Planning: Encourages being aware of portion sizes and meal planning to help control the amounts of different types of food consumed.
This guide is designed to be flexible enough to suit different dietary needs and preferences, catering to vegetarians, vegans, meat-eaters, and those who are gluten-free, among others. Its goal is to ensure that the overall diet is balanced and provides the nutrients needed for good health.
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