New research published by the PLOS Journal of Medicine says that if you stop eating meat, dairy, and sugary foods and start consuming more whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and nuts it could increase your life expectancy by more than the years.
The researchers looked at the life expectancy of adults in the US and concluded that making healthier diet choices earlier in the life of a person could lead to healthier living and a substantial life expectancy gain.
The researcher compared the typical high carbs, high-protein Western diet to an “optimal diet” rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. The study found that eating a healthier diet from an early age could add up more than 10 years of life for women and 13 years of life for men.
The Western diet, consumed by the average American, features red and processed meat, dairy, sugary drinks, and refined grains and it hardly contains any peas, beans, lentils, and only a few fruits and vegetables.
The largest gains, researchers found, would be made by eating more peas, beans, lentils, whole grains and nuts, and less red and processed meat. However, eating more peas, beans, and lentils alone could add over 2 years of life expectancy for both men and women even if they continue the Western diet.
For older people, the gains would be smaller. People in their sixties, for example, could add 8.4 years of by changing red and processed meat for healthier alternatives and those in their 80s could still gain 3.4 years.
Food is fundamental for our health. The Lancet ( the most prestigious Journal of Medicine) found that poor diets are estimated to cause at least 11 million deaths every year, that is one in every five adult deaths.