If you’re looking to give yourself a better chance of living a longer life, ask researchers who investigate how lifestyle habits are linked to longevity. They’ve produced some easy-to-follow advice.
By analyzing studies that match up daily habits with how long people live, they’ve discovered tips we can put to use right now and – here’s the kicker — they don’t require drastic changes. They’re within the reach of just about everybody.
Ready to add years to your life? Let’s go!. . .
Don’t Nosh on Fried Foods
A 24-year study at the University of Iowa shows that avoiding fried foods may help you live extra years. This research involved women who were aged 50 to 79 when the investigation started. Turns out those who ate fried food ran an increased risk of dying while this long study was in progress, compared to women who rarely indulged.
They identified one type of fried food that had a particularly strong effect.
Fried chicken as well as fried fish and shellfish was linked to about a 12 percent higher chance of dying from heart problems during the study. And this was especially true among the younger women in the study, ages 50- to 65-years old.1
According to the researchers, the big villain in our fried food consumption is fast food joints. An estimated 20 to 36 percent of adults eat fast food every day, and it’s usually fried.
Fish Fats Fight Aging
Another way to improve your odds of living longer is to eat more fish (but not fried!) and take omega-3 fatty acid supplements (fish oil). This conclusion is based on a detailed analysis that pooled the results of ten other studies involving omega-3s. The researchers found that people who ate fish at least three times a week and took supplements were 35 percent less likely to die of heart problems during the research compared to the non-fish consumers.2
And another study, one that lasted 16 years and involved more than 240,000 men and more than 180,000 women, also found that eating more fish and taking in more omega-3 oils increased life expectancy.3
Compared to men eating little or no fish, the men eating the most fish in this study:
- Were 9 percent more likely to be alive at the end of the study.
- Were 10 percent less likely to die from heart disease.
The women in the research…
- Were 8 percent more likely to be alive at the end of the study
- Were also 10 percent less likely to die from heart disease.
Make Plants Your Friends
As for your overall eating habits, researchers find that when you eat a mostly plant-based diet, containing plenty of fruits and vegetables, you also up your chances of living longer.
According to a study in Sweden – this one involving more than 70,000 people and lasting 13 years – you can predict somebody’s general life expectancy by counting how many servings of fruits and vegetables they eat every day.
The participants ranged pretty widely in age, from 45 to 83 at the beginning of the study. The results revealed that during the 13-year period, folks who ate five servings of fruits and vegetables daily lived, on average, three years longer than non-vegetable and non-fruit eaters.4
If three years doesn’t sound like much, consider what it might mean to a 77-year-old to have three more healthy years vs. kicking the bucket in a couple of months.
And the researchers even went into more detail. People in the study who never ate fruit at all lived on average about a year-and-a-half less than those who consumed at least one fruit daily.
For me, the great thing about studies like these is that they show how really simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you live a longer, healthier life. These large, long term studies don’t leave much doubt that avoiding fried foods, consuming fish oil, and eating even a few fruits and vegetables can add many years to your life.
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