To Your Health
February, 2023 (Vol. 17, Issue 02)
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Eat to Live Longer

By Editorial Staff

A healthy diet can help you live longer by reducing your risk of chronic and life-threatening conditions including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more – but you probably know that already. OK, but do you know what a healthy diet really means? Researchers have discovered the dietary patterns best suited to longevity.

Using dietary data drawn from two large surveys: the Nurses' Health Study (1984-2020) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986-2020), the researchers tracked participants for more than three decades to determine how their diet influenced how long they lived. All participants were given dietary scores reflecting four healthy-eating patterns: Healthy Eating Index 2015 (HEI-2015), Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED) score, Healthful Plant-based Diet Index (HPDI), and Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI).

eat to live longer - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark "[G]reater adherence to various healthy eating patterns was consistently associated with lower risk of total and cause-specific mortality." In fact, each participant's four dietary scores "were inversely associated with the risk of most major causes of death," according to the researchers. The healthier one's diet, the lower their risk of death during the study period, pure and simple.

If you've been trying to eat healthier, but aren't sure if you're doing it right; or if you want to eat healthier, but don't know how to get started, ask your doctor to outline a sensible, maintainable nutrition program suitable to your health needs.