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A new study says you can increase life expectancy by up to 10 years by following this healthy diet

Spoiler alert: Fruits and veggies are important

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Consider how great it would be if you could add a decade to your life. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, a recent study suggests that by making simple, healthy changes to your diet, you could indeed enhance your life expectancy by up to 10 years. This article will delve into the intricacies of how the food you consume impacts your health and longevity and which dietary patterns could help you live a longer, healthier life.

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How does your diet affect your health?

Your diet plays an essential role in maintaining your overall health and preventing non-communicable diseases. Researchers have found that unhealthy diets are responsible for more than 75,000 premature deaths each year in the United Kingdom, including almost 17,000 deaths in the age group of 15-70 years. 

Consuming a diet heavy in processed meats and sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. On the flip side, a diet like the Eatwell Guide, rich in whole grains, nuts, and fruits, can significantly reduce your risk of these conditions and contribute to a longer, healthier life.

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How to follow the Eatwell Guide for increased longevity

Eatwell isn’t just about food; it is about nourishing your body for growth and vitality. Following these guidelines can lead to gains in life expectancy, especially if dietary changes are adopted earlier in life.

Studies have revealed that following the dietary recommendations of the Eatwell Guide could result in a gain of 8.9 and 8.6 years in life expectancy for 40-year-old males and females, respectively. Even more impressively, a shift from an unhealthy dietary pattern to a healthier dietary pattern is associated with a gain of 10.8 and 10.4 years in life expectancy for males and females, respectively.

In this guide, there is a visualization of the ideal proportions of food groups that should fill your plate. The tool can be used by anyone looking to make healthier choices, whether they are cooking at home, shopping for groceries, dining out, or grabbing a bite on the go.

It breaks down your dietary consumption into five main food groups, encouraging a variety of choices within each to ensure a wide range of nutrients.

  • Fruits and vegetables should make up over a third of your diet–aim for at least five portions of diverse types daily.
  • Starchy carbohydrates, preferably whole grain, are the bedrock of your meals.
  • Proteins, including beans, pulses, fish, eggs, and meat, add texture and richness to your diet, with a recommendation for two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily.
  • Dairy or dairy alternatives are the brush strokes adding calcium and vitamins; opt for lower fat and sugar options.
  • Unsaturated oils and spreads should be used sparingly to add flavor and essential fatty acids.

Your diet holds the key to your health and life expectancy. By sticking to a healthy diet, you can not only prevent the development of various diseases but also increase your life expectancy significantly. Whether you’re in your late 20s or early 40s, it’s never too late to start prioritizing your health and well-being. So, why wait? 

Editors' Recommendations

Brittney Bertagna, RN
Brittney is a graduate of California State University, Chico, where she completed a Bachelor's degree in Business. Her…
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