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These healthy diets were associated with a lower risk of death, according to a study of 119,000 people over four decades.

Quentin Fottrell

Researchers found that people who regularly followed at least one of four healthy eating patterns were less likely to die than those who ate less healthily.

Eat right, live long.

That’s an excerpt from a large study published this month in JAMA Internal Medicine. Scientists at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health found that people who adhere strictly to at least one of four healthy eating patterns are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, cancer or respiratory disease than those who do not. close to these diets. They were also less likely to die from any cause.

“These findings support recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that many healthy eating patterns can be adapted to individual dietary habits and preferences,” the researchers concluded, adding that the results were consistent across racial and ethnic groups. The study included the eating habits of more than 75,000 women from 1984 to 2020 and the mortality rates of more than 44,000 men from 1986 to 2020.

The four diets studied were: Healthy Eating Index, Alternative Mediterranean Diet, Healthy Plant-Based Diet Index, and Alternative Healthy Eating Index. All four share some components, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans. But there are also differences: For example, the Alternative Mediterranean Diet encourages fish consumption, while the Healthy Plant-Based Diet Index discourages eating meat.

The Alternative Mediterranean Diet is adapted from the original Mediterranean diet, which includes olive oil (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), fruits, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fish. It allows moderate consumption of alcohol and dairy products, but limits sweets and red meat only occasionally. An alternative would eliminate dairy entirely, include only whole grains, and use the same alcohol intake guidelines for men and women, JAMA says.

The world’s “best diets” are consistent with research findings

The Mediterranean Diet is consistently ranked #1 in US News and World Report’s Best Diets ranking, which considers seven criteria: short-term weight loss, long-term weight loss, effectiveness in preventing cardiovascular disease, effectiveness in preventing diabetes, and ease of treatment. . compliance, nutritional adequacy, and health risks. The top three diets on the 2023 list are the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the flexible diet.

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet recommends fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products and limits salt, red meat, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages. The Flexitarian Diet is similar to other diets in that it is mostly vegetarian, but occasionally allows for meat or fish. All three diets are associated with improved metabolism, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and an author of the latest study, said it is important to study the links between the US government’s dietary guidelines for Americans and long-term health. “Our findings will be valuable to the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which is being formed to assess the current evidence on different dietary patterns and health outcomes,” he said.

Reducing your salt intake is a good place to start. In 2021, the Food and Drug Administration issued new guidelines for restaurants and food manufacturers to voluntarily reduce the amount of sodium in their food to help consumers stay within the 3,000-milligram limit for two and a half years. per day — still higher than the recommended daily allowance. Americans consume an average of 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people consume less than 2,300 milligrams per day.

Related: Eating 400 Calories a Day From These Foods May Raise Your Risk of Dementia by Over 20%

– Quentin Fottrell

 

(End) Dow Jones Newswires

01-24-23 1411ET

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