Six diet changes that could help you live up to 13 years longer – doctor advice

Alongside exercising, not smoking and cutting down on the amount of alcohol you drink, health experts say one way to improve longevity is to eat well.

Dr Anthony Youn, a plastic surgeon in the US who has 5.01 million subscribers on YouTube, specified six tweaks to your diet could help you live up to 13 years longer.

Dr Youn’s advice, which he shared on his channel, is backed up by a study. As per the findings, he did a countdown of the top six dietary changes to make.

6. Eat more fish as this contains healthy omega-3 fats

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for optimal body and brain function and strongly linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.

For example, in one study of more than 40,000 men in the US, those who regularly ate one or more servings of fish per week had a 15 percent lower risk of heart disease.

5. Drink less sugary drinks

Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, as well as gout, a type of arthritis.

4. Eat more nuts and seeds which are healthy sources of fat and protein

Nuts and seeds may aid weight loss and lower cholesterol. A large study which assessed the effects of the Mediterranean diet found people assigned to eat nuts lost an average of two inches from their waists.

A study in women with metabolic syndrome found eating a 30g mix of walnuts, peanuts and pine nuts per day for six weeks significantly lowered all types of cholesterol.

3. Eat less red meat and processed meat like bacon and sausage

If you eat more than 90g of red or processed meat a day, the NHS recommends you reduce your intake to 70g or less a day.

While red meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and can form part of a balanced diet, eating a lot of red and processed meat can increase your risk of bowel cancer.

2. Eat more legumes like beans, peas and lentils – these are great sources of plant-based protein and fibre

According to two reviews published in 2015 and 2021, the health benefits of legumes are:

  • lower risk of developing diabetes and improved glycemic and lipid control in people who have diabetes
  • lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels
  • weight control and less chance of obesity
  • reductions in blood pressure
  • less risk of cardiovascular disease
  • microbiome diversity
  • immune support

1. Eat more wholegrains

Dr Youn said the number one change to make that could potentially add years to your life is to eat more wholegrains, like buckwheat, oatmeal and brown rice.

This is instead of refined grains like white rice and white pasta.

Eating wholegrains instead of refined grains substantially lowers total cholesterol and may help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Other changes to make

One major caveat, said Dr Youn, is that the researchers in the study did not make a distinction between the quality of meat that was eaten.

He advised: “In the case of beef and fish especially I do believe there’s a difference between grass fed beef and wild caught fish vs conventional.”

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