How can a healthy lifestyle increase life expectancy?

It is well known that if a person wants to live longer, they must emphasize their diet and physical exercise. According to a recent study, life expectancy can increase 6-7 years for the middle-aged and 10 years for young people, if they follow a healthy lifestyle.

The Global Burden of Disease study, which provides a summary of population health from many countries, was combined with research into the association of diet with longevity, and scientists were able to find out how life expectancy differed after continuous changes in specific food intake.

These are: fruits, vegetables, cereals, refined grains, nuts, legumes, fish, eggs, dairy products, red meat, processed meats and sugary drinks The next step was to find the ideal diet for longevity but also to compare it to a typical western diet, which mainly contains high amounts of processed foods, red meat, high fat dairy products, high sugar foods, prepackaged foods and low fruit intake and vegetables.

The results of the research showed that the ideal diet included more legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole grains (oats, barley and brown rice) and nuts and less red and processed meat. Based on this diet (and in combination with exercise) ages around 20 could increase life expectancy for a decade, people around 60, would increase it for about 8 years while 80+ for about 3.5 years .

But since it can not be taken for granted that this diet will be followed to the maximum, the researchers also calculated what would happen if people switched from a western diet to a diet that was halfway between the optimal diet and the standard western diet.

The conclusion, dubbed the “feasibility approach diet”, showed that life expectancy for people close to 20 years could be increased by just over six years for women and just over seven years for men.

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