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What You Eat at 40 Can Determine the Quality of Your Life at 70

What You Eat at 40 Can Determine the Quality of Your Life at 70

Science Editorial, July 2 (EFE).- A study based on data collected over thirty years has shown that maintaining a healthy diet starting at the age of 40 helps to age healthily and maintain good physical, cognitive and mental condition until the age of 40. 40. 70 years or more.

The study, which reveals a close link between diet in midlife and healthy aging, was led by researchers at Harvard University and was presented Tuesday at Nutrition 2024, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition being held in Chicago.

The research, based on data from more than 100,000 people over 30 years, showed that those who followed a healthy diet from the age of 40 were between 43% and 84% more likely to function well physically and mentally over time, compared with those who did not at age 70.

“People who had healthy dietary patterns in middle age, especially those rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, were more likely to age healthily, suggesting that what you eat in middle age can play an important role in how you age,” says Anne-Julie Tessier, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health.

In terms of diet, the researchers found that eating higher amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fats, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy products was associated with a greater likelihood of healthy aging, while consuming higher amounts of trans fats, sodium, and red and processed meats was associated with a lower likelihood of healthy aging.

While many previous studies have shown that eating a healthy diet can help prevent chronic disease, the new research is unique in its approach to healthy aging, which is defined not just as the absence of disease, but also as the ability to live independently and enjoy a good quality of life as we age.

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healthy aging rates

The researchers analyzed data from more than 106,000 people since 1986. Participants were at least 39 years old and free of chronic diseases at the start of the study and provided information about their diet through questionnaires every four years.

In 2016, nearly half of the study participants died, and only 9.2% survived to age 70 or older, resulting in no chronic diseases and good physical, cognitive, and mental health.

The team compared rates of healthy aging among people in the highest versus lowest quintiles (indices) of adherence to each of the eight healthy dietary patterns identified by previous scientific studies.

The strongest association was observed with the alternative Healthy Eating Index, a pattern that reflects close adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Participants in the top quintile of this dietary pattern were 84% more likely to achieve healthy aging than participants in the bottom.

Strong associations were also found for those following a hyperinsulinemia diet (associated with a 78% greater chance of healthy aging), the Planetary Health Diet (68%), the Alternative Mediterranean Diet (67%), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet (66%), the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegeneration Delay (MIND) diet (59%), and the Experimental Inflammatory Diet (58%).

A healthy vegetarian diet showed a somewhat more modest association (43%).

“One of the most striking findings is the association between a planetary healthy diet and healthy aging,” Tessier said.

“This diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins, and healthy fats from sustainable sources. The fact that it has emerged as one of the key dietary patterns associated with healthy aging is particularly interesting because it supports the possibility of a healthy diet. This could benefit our health and our planet,” the researcher asserts.

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The links between diet and healthy aging remained strong even when researchers took into account physical activity and other factors known to influence health. Evie