4 diets that could be the secret to longevity, according to a Harvard study


Have you ever thought? What is your motivation for healthy eating? Your answers may include things like increased energy, weight loss, disease prevention, and of course, increasing your chances of living a longer life. You might even think that living a longer life is your main motivation for all lifestyle changes. If your answer is yes, you might be interested in this new Harvard study linking four types of diet to longevity! Let’s start right now.

How do dietary habits affect life expectancy?

For this Harvard study, researchers analyzed data from more than 75,000 women and 44,000 men, looking at links between certain dietary patterns, adherence to those patterns, and long-term health outcomes.

Participants were followed for a full 36 years (filled out health questionnaires every four years) and none of them had cardiovascular disease or cancer at the start of the study.

Let’s start with amazing results! The results, published this month in JAMA Internal Medicine 1, showed that participants who scored higher on one of 4 healthy eating patterns had a 20% lower risk of death over the study period.

They also had significantly lower rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory disease than participants with low adherence scores.

The results also showed that participants who ate only 25% healthier could reduce their risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 6-13%, cancer by 7-18%, neurodegenerative disease by 7%, and respiratory disease by 7%. These numbers, between 35% and 46%, were quite remarkable!

It is also worth clarifying that the study had some limitations. For example, this was based on participants’ ability to self-report their eating habits, suggesting that there may be some potential for inaccuracy.

The results also show an association between eating patterns and longer life or a correlation. Thus, this study cannot prove that diet directly leads to longer lifespans…

What is the best diet for longevity?

Here’s the question we all know you’ve been waiting for: what dietary patterns were considered to promote longevity? The 4 types of diet that were the subject of the study:

1. Mediterranean diet

There are reasons why the Mediterranean diet has been considered one of the healthiest diets for decades. It includes the consumption of foods high in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, and emphasizes the importance of grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, olive oil, herbs, and spices. Regular but limited consumption of poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt is also allowed.

2. Plant based diet

A plant-based diet, as the name suggests, refers to a meal plan that only focuses on plant-based foods and not animal-based foods. This means eating plenty of nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, legumes and grains.

Memory: Plant-based dieters should avoid artificial ingredients and added sugars, which can be surreptitiously added to many plant-based foods.

3. Traditional healthy eating

This follows the Dietary Guidelines for Americans issued by the USDA and the US Department of Health and Human Services, which encourage a plant-based diet, as well as the consumption of lean animal products, and reduced consumption of processed meats. He also advocates cutting out inflammatory fats (like trans fats), alcohol, and sugar.

4. Harvard Alternative Healthy Eating Index

This diet was developed by Harvard researchers specifically for this study and involved evaluating various foods for their association with chronic disease risk factors.

Thus, this diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet in that it promotes fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and legumes, fish, and healthy fats. What stands out about the Alternative Healthy Eating Index is that it specifically recommends avoiding potatoes (anything but french fries), fruit juices, and refined grains.

There is more than one way to eat healthy!

We explained all the details of the study. This Harvard study leaves us with two extremely important implications.

First, it’s true that following a long-term healthy eating strategy can have a huge impact on your health. While we already know this, the numbers in the study are great motivation for us to improve our healthy eating habits. As you can see, all of these diets include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. Of course, the benefits of such a diet can be doubled by other healthy lifestyle factors.

The second and most important thing this study teaches us is this: There is more than one way to eat healthy! Co-author of the study, Ph.D. Frank Hu explains it this way in an interview with CNN:

“A healthy diet can be tailored to individual food preferences, health conditions, and culture.”

We all know; It’s easy to get caught up in an endless “eat this, don’t eat that” cycle. But this study shows us that we can afford flexibility and change if we follow a few basic principles, including plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.

“For example, if you’re on a healthy Mediterranean diet and want to try something different in a few months, you might want to switch.”

You can greatly support your health by eating a diet full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. As Hu explains, “It’s never too late to switch to a healthy diet, and the benefits of a healthy diet can be significant in reducing premature death and various causes of premature death.”

You may be interested in: Longevity Secrets from the Blue Zone Regions, Home to the World’s Longest Living People

Random Post

Leave a reply