Healthy Diet


Laura Brown, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition, Food, and Health Sciences, Teesside University, writes in The Conversation magazine that by simply changing to healthier diet, exercising, avoiding smoking and not drinking too much alcohol could add ten years of age in peoples life.

Everyone wants to live longer. And we’re often told that the key to doing this is making healthier lifestyle choices, such as exercising, avoiding smoking and not drinking too much alcohol. Studies have also shown that diet can increase lifespan.

A new study has found that eating healthier could extend lifespan by six to seven years in middle-aged age adults, and in young adults, could increase lifespan by about ten years.

Laura differentiates, referring the study, the typical western food from the optimal healthy diet as follows:

  • Typical Western diet: mostly contains high amounts of processed foods, red meat, high-fat dairy products, high-sugar foods, pre-packed foods and low fruit and vegetable intake.
  • Optimal diet: includes more legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole grains (oats, barley and brown rice) and nuts, and less red and processed meat.

The researchers found that eating an optimal diet from age 20 would increase life expectancy by more than a decade for women and men from the US, China and Europe. They also found that changing from a western diet to the optimal diet at age 60 would increase life expectancy by eight years. For 80-year-olds, life expectancy could increase by almost three and a half years.

According to the study results, making healthier diet choices have substantial benefit to life expectancy but gain can be expected even when started at later age too.