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4 Healthy Diets That Can Extend Your Life: Study

4 Healthy Diets That Can Extend Your Life: Study

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You can reduce your risk of early death by nearly 20% just by eating more foods of four models of healthy eatingaccording to researchers who analyzed decades of data collected on more than 119,000 adults.

The study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that people who ate the “highest-quality diets” had a 20 percent lower risk of early death from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory and neurodegenerative diseases by time of the survey.

In particular, the researchers found an association between people eating healthily and a lower risk of death among various racial and ethnic groups, including Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, and non-Hispanic whites.

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“Highest Quality Kids” includes the four dietary pattern indices (Healthy Diet Index 2015, Alternative Mediterranean Diet, Healthy Plant-Based Diet Index, and Alternative Healthy Diet Index).

The new study, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that people who ate the “highest quality diets” had a 20 percent lower risk of premature death from certain diseases.
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All share key components including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, although other components vary among dietary patterns.

“Our findings support the DGA’s recommendations [Dietary Guidelines for Americans] for multiple patterns of healthy eating for all Americans with diverse cultural and personal dietary traditions and preferences,” concluded corresponding author Frank B. Hu, MD, of the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

Various legumes and flower beans - top view.  All participants were free of cardiovascular disease or cancer at the start of the study.

Various legumes and flower beans – top view. All participants were free of cardiovascular disease or cancer at the start of the study.
(iStock)

The researchers used health data collected over 36 years from two long-term studies. The first examined 75,230 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1984-2020), and the second examined 44,085 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2020).

All participants were free of cardiovascular disease or cancer at the start of the study.

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One recommended diet is the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish and a large amount of olive oil.
(iStock)

Among both study groups, food frequency questionnaires were completed every four years (starting in 1984 for the NHS and in 1986 for the HPFS), allowing the researchers to determine how much the 75,230 women and 44,085 men in the two studies adhere to one of four healthy eating patterns: Healthy Eating Index 2015 (HEI-2015), Alternative Mediterranean Diet Score (AMED), Healthy Plant-Based Diet Index (HPDI), and Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI).

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The researcher rated the participants on how closely they followed four healthy eating styles that are in sync with the current US Dietary Guidelines and eventually used the participants’ death records to determine some relationship to eating patterns.

People often get bored with one way of eating, Hu explained, “so that’s good news. This means we have a lot of flexibility in terms of creating ours own healthy dietary patterns That could be it tailored to individual dietary preferences, health conditions and cultures.

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“For example, if you eat a healthy Mediterranean diet and after a few months you want to try something different, you can switch to a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet or you can switch to a semi-vegetarian diet,” Hu said.

“Or you can follow the US Dietary Guidelines and create your own healthy eating plate.”

The findings are published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.


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