A new large-scale scientific analysis encompassing 204 countries reveals that eating a healthy diet can add up to 13 years to our lifespan.
The results came about after a meta-analysis of the Global Burden of Diseases study. That’s saying something since the study tracks 369 diseases and injuries, 286 causes of death, and 87 risk factors.
Saying that a healthy diet will prolong your life by improving your overall health is no news, but a 13-year boost to people’s longevity is a significant difference.
Plus, what the study says is that you don’t have to eat healthy for years, and still the effects will be the same—added years to your life, no matter when you start. But what does this mean exactly?
The study says that what we traditionally call a Mediterranean diet means eating more fruit and vegetable-based meals that are also rich in nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
This also means cutting down on or completely eliminating processed foods and red meat. Although this might look complicated, the effects are well worth it, even more so if you’re a man!
In fact, the research shows that young women who start this diet at the age of 20 can add up to one decade to their lifespan, whereas men can add up to 13 years. But you don’t need to start that early.
The analysis showed that women who start this diet at 60 can live eight years longer, and men who do the same gain nine more years. Even at the age of 80, both men and women can add three and a half years to their lifespan.
These numbers are all the proof we need to see how much our diet influences our life. Global estimates show that unhealthy alimentation is responsible for about 11 million deaths each year.