Family eating healthy Diet can have a significant impact on health, even adding years to your life. - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

Eating Less Meat And Dairy Could Add 10 Years To Your Life, New Study Says

Even older adults who shake up their diet can help influence their longevity

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2 Minutes Read

Dropping meat, dairy, and sugary foods and eating more pulses, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and nuts could increase your life expectancy by more than a decade, new research suggests.

The study was published in the journal PLOS Medicine. Researchers looked at the life expectancy of adults in the US, and concluded that making healthier dietary choices earlier in life could lead to substantial life expectancy gains.

They compared a typical Western diet to an “optimal diet” rich in whole grains, pulses, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. They found that eating a healthier diet from an early age could add up to 10.7 years of life for women and 13 years of life for men.

A typical Western diet, consumed by the average American, contains hardly any pulses (peas, beans, and lentils) and too few fruits and vegetables. At the same time, it often features too much red and processed meat, dairy, sugary drinks, and refined grains.

Diet and longevity

The largest gains, researchers found, would be made by eating more pulses, whole grains and nuts, and less red and processed meat. But eating more pulses alone could add over two years of life expectancy for both men and women.

For older people, the gains would be smaller but still substantial, the study notes. People in their sixties, for example, could add 8.4 years of life if they swapped red and processed meat for healthier alternatives.

Additionally, those in their 80s could still gain 3.4 years.

Researchers concluded: “Understanding the relative health potential of different food groups could enable people to make feasible and significant health gains.”

Food is fundamental for health. The Global Burden of Disease Study, published in The Lancet, found that poor diets are estimated to cause 11 million deaths every year – that is one in five adult deaths.

Find out more about healthy eating here.

This article was republished with permission from Viva!

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The Author

Jemima Webber

Jemima is the Head of Editorial of Plant Based News. Aside from writing about climate and animal rights issues, she studies psychology in Newcastle, Australia (where she was born).

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rodentx2
rodentx2
7 months ago

I’m more concerned about SAVING the lives of the animals by not eating meat, dairy, eggs, seal-life, than by adding a few more years to my own. So selfish!

Matt
Matt
7 months ago
Reply to  rodentx2

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter WHY you don’t eat animals.

Nim tir
Nim tir
4 months ago

Why am I not surprised to find out that the actual study is about a made up model diet calculator that gave them these results?
It has nothing to do with real measurements, or science for that matter, but as long as the results are in accord with your beliefs you have no problem presenting it as such.
And the diet they present as being optimal is not even plant based, it’s lacto-ovo-pescatarian with zero processed grains and zero plant oils. Sounds like semi-Paleo, to me.

Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Nim tir

Thanks for your comment. The study was published in PLOS ONE, a peer reviewed scientific journal with a rigorous editorial screening and assessment process made up of several stages. We’d call that science.

Nim Tir
Nim Tir
3 months ago

Thank you too for replying.
My main point is not that it isn’t “science”, just that the study does not align with the claims you make in this article.
And all peer reviewed journals are fallible. It’s not the word of god.

Last edited 3 months ago by Nim Tir
Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Nim Tir

Thank you for your comment. The study does align with the claims made in this article though.
Article: “The largest gains, researchers found, would be made by eating more pulses, whole grains and nuts, and less red and processed meat. But eating more pulses alone could add over two years of life expectancy for both men and women.”
Study: “The largest gains would be made by eating more legumes (females: 2.2 [95% UI 1.1 to 3.4]; males: 2.5 [95% UI 1.1 to 3.9]), whole grains (females: 2.0 [95% UI 1.3 to 2.7]; males: 2.3 [95% UI 1.6 to 3.0]), and nuts (females: 1.7 [95% UI 1.5 to 2.0]; males: 2.0 [95% UI 1.7 to 2.3]), and less red meat (females: 1.6 [95% UI 1.5 to 1.8]; males: 1.9 [95% UI 1.7 to 2.1]) and processed meat (females: 1.6 [95% UI 1.5 to 1.8]; males: 1.9 [95% UI 1.7 to 2.1]). Changing from a typical diet to the optimized diet at age 60 years would increase LE by 8.0 (95% UI 6.2 to 9.3) years for women and 8.8 (95% UI 6.8 to 10.0) years for men, and 80-year-olds would gain 3.4 years (95% UI females: 2.6 to 3.8/males: 2.7 to 3.9). ”

What claims exactly do you feel are incorrect?

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