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How to live longer: The diet linked to a disease-free life expectancy past the age of 50 – Express

Posted: August 29, 2021 at 1:47 am


A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition aimed to investigate the association of diet quality with cardiometabolic diseasefree life expectancy between ages 50 and 85.

Researchers assessed the relationship between the health outcomes of 8041 participants of the Whitehall II cohort study (an interdisciplinary study of ageing) and adherence to the Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010).

The AHEI-2010 is based on 11 components: six components for which the highest intakes were supposed to be ideal (vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and legumes and polyunsaturated fats), one component for which only moderate intake was supposed to be ideal (alcohol), and four components for which avoidance or lowest intake were supposed to be ideal (sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juice, red and processed meat, trans-fats, and sodium).

Each component was given a minimal score of 0 and a maximal score of 10.

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A higher score represented a healthier diet.

Cardiometabolic diseasefree life expectancy was defined based on the years without these chronic diseases.

The number of cardiometabolic diseasefree life-years after age 50 was 23.9 years for participants with the healthiest diet, that is, a higher score on the AHEI-2010, and 21.4 years for participants with the unhealthiest diet.

The association between diet quality and cardiometabolic diseasefree life expectancy followed a doseresponse pattern, meaning the more participants adhered to the dietary pattern, the greater the benefits.

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What's more, the finding was consistent across occupational position, body mass index (BMI), physical activity level, and smoking habit.

"Healthier dietary habits are associated with cardiometabolic diseasefree life expectancy between ages 50 and 85," the researchers concluded.

Cutting back on saturated fat is key to living a long life.

Saturated fat is the kind of fat found in butter, lard, ghee, fatty meats and cheese.

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"Eating a diet high in saturated fat is associated with raised levels of non-HDL (bad) cholesterol," warns the British Heart Foundation.

This fatty substance is linked to an increased risk of heart and circulatory disease.

Sitting down too much can also put your health at risk.

Studies have linked being inactive with being overweight and obese, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death.

"To reduce our risk of ill health from inactivity, we are advised to exercise regularly, at least 150 minutes a week, and reduce sitting time," advises the NHS.

According to the health body, sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.

"Many adults in the UK spend around nine hours a day sitting," it adds.

"This includes watching TV, using a computer, reading, doing homework, travelling by car, bus or train but does not include sleeping."

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How to live longer: The diet linked to a disease-free life expectancy past the age of 50 - Express

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