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Harvard Researchers Say 4 Diets Will Extend Life

A new Harvard study questions current concepts of how people should eat while reviewing what people do eat and how it affects their health and lifespans.

Everybody wants to live longer. But few people want to change their lifestyles, exercise more and especially their eating habits. And is there any evidence that vegetarians or people who always work out and are in shape have longer lives than other people?

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So, maybe we can say for a certainty that cutting out junk foods and fast foods while living a healthy lifestyle in general can extend one’s life expectancy. But are there specific foods people should eat or diets they should be on?

Well, apparently a variety of healthy eating patterns are linked to reduced risk of premature death, this according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers. They found that participants who scored high on adherence to at least one of four healthy eating patterns were less likely to die during the study period from any cause and less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or respiratory disease, compared with people with lower scores. The findings are consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for America, which recommend multiple healthy eating patterns.

The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend multiple healthy eating patterns. However, explain the researchers, few studies have examined the associations of adherence to different dietary patterns with long-term risk of total and cause-specific mortality.

“The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are intended to provide science-based dietary advice that promotes good health and reduces major chronic diseases. Thus, it is critical to examine the associations between DGAs-recommended dietary patterns and long-term health outcomes, especially mortality,” said corresponding author Frank Hu, Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition.

“It is important to evaluate adherence to DGAs-recommended eating patterns and health outcomes, including mortality, so that timely updates can be made,” said Hu. “Our findings will be valuable for the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which is being formed to evaluate current evidence surrounding different eating patterns and health outcomes.”

The Harvard researchers determined that greater adherence to various healthy eating patterns was consistently associated with a lower risk of death. They said their findings support the recommendations of DGAs for multiple healthy eating patterns for all US individuals with diverse cultural and personal food traditions and preferences.



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