How to slow down the process of aging? Can I gain a few years of life? Have a way of life healthy really help? These are questions that many of us ask ourselves and to which science provides some answers. In particular, we know that diet plays an important role. A new study published in PLOS Medicine journal came to the conclusion that eating healthier could extend the life of a middle-aged adult by 6 to 7 years, and even ten years if the person begins this diet in their twenties.
The researchers pooled data from numerous studies on food and longevity, as well as those of the Global Burden of Disease database, a world-class research program. By combining this data, they were able to estimate how much life expectancy varied with continued changes in consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, refined grains, nuts, legumes, fish, eggs , dairy products, red meat, processed meat and sugary drinks.
They were then able to produce an optimal diet for longevity, which they compared to the standard Western diet, which is high in processed foods, red meat, full-fat dairy, sugary and pre-packaged foods, and low in fruit. and vegetables. The optimal diet they established includes more legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), whole grains (oats, barley, and brown rice), nuts, and less red meat and processed foods.
Beneficial at any age
According to this study conducted by a team from the University of Bergen, in Norway, if this optimal diet is adopted from the age of 20 by a European, an American or a Chinese, then the individual increases his life expectancy. ten year life. If you are no longer in your twenties, nothing to worry about. By adopting this optimal diet at 60, you can gain up to eight years of life expectancy. For octogenarians, it could increase by almost three and a half years.
These results therefore show that long-term changes in diet can have substantial benefits, regardless of our age. It should be noted, however, that these results come from meta-analyses. Although they are considered to be of very high quality due to the amount of data analyzed, they only produce hypotheses and can sometimes overlook important differences from one study to another. The study also did not take into account past health conditions, which can affect life expectancy.
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Despite these dramatic results, why diet plays such a big role is still unclear. The cause could be antioxidants, particularly present in the optimal diet proposed by the researchers. Changing diets can seem overwhelming in a world full of fast foodbut adding certain foods like more legumes or seeds can only be beneficial.