We know that a Mediterranean diet is good for our health. We are also aware that certain products provide us with more health benefits than others. But how exactly do our diet changes influence our health and our life expectancy?
A recent study answered this question. The researchers came up with a tool, the Food4HealthyLife calculator, based on the existing meta-analyses and data from the Global Burden of Diseases study. This tool helps estimate the effect of the dietary changes on life expectancy. It is available HERE online for everyone.
The analysis of the information based on this tool showed that younger adults (beginning at age 20) would increase their life expectancy by more than 10 years for women (10.7 years on average) and men (13 years on average) if they change their diet from a typical Western diet to a well-balanced diet.
The largest impact (in years) on life expectancy, on average, have:
- more legumes (women: 2.2; men: 2.5),
- more whole grains (women: 2; men: 2.3),
- more nuts (women: 1.7; men: 2),
- less red meat (women: 1.6; men: 1.9), and
- less processed meat (women: 1.6; men: 1.9).
As for older people, the predicted extention of life expectancy from such dietary changes would be smaller but still substantial. So, changing from a typical diet to a well-balanced one at age 60 could still increase life expectancy by 8 years for women and 8.8 years for men. From the same dietary changes the 80-year-olds could gain 3.4 years for both men and women.
The results of this study are very encouraging. The younger you’ll follow a well-balanced, high quality diet, the longer you’ll live. Of course, there are other factors, that influence your life, but this study is about making right food choices to benefit from a longer and healthier life.
Curious? HERE is the source