The Harvard study defines what a diet should look like

The Harvard study defines what a diet should look like to ensure a long life

Researchers at Harvard University in the United States have found that it is not necessary to stick to a diet for the rest of your life to ensure longevity. Patients who tired of one regimen and tried others for a while avoided the risk of premature death by 20%.

The study was published last Monday (September 1) in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine and analyzed data from 119,315 people, 75,000 women and 44,000 men, over 36 years.

According to scientists, there are four types of healthy eating:

  • Mediterranean diet: prioritize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish and lots of olive oil;
  • Healthy, plantbased diet: favor plantbased products and reduce consumption of animal products and all types of alcoholic beverages;
  • Healthy Eating Index: Plantbased, frowns on red and processed meats, and discourages consumption of added sugars, unhealthy fats, and alcohol;
  • Alternative Healthy Eating Index: Includes nuts, seeds, whole grains, and reduced consumption of red and processed meats and sugary drinks.

The idea is that the patient composes his own menu, taking into account the diet plans: finally, one should rely on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, avoid red and processed meat, sugary drinks and alcohol.

“Our results show that we have a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating our own healthy eating patterns that can be tailored to individual preferences, health conditions and cultures,” says one of the study’s authors, researcher Frank Hu.

In addition to avoiding the risk of death from all causes, the study points out that the diet is also effective against respiratory diseases participants perceived a risk reduction of between 35% and 46%.

The basic feed

According to nutritionist Talyta Machado, who was not involved in the research, there is a consensus in the scientific community that the basis of what is considered a healthy diet should be a high intake of vegetables and fruits.

“They should be combined with socalled functional foods like teas, which help reduce inflammation in the body and thus delay cell aging,” he explains. Some examples of functional foods are:

  • Cocoa;
  • turmeric root tea;
  • resveratrol, a substance found, for example, in the skin of grapes;
  • Quercetin found in green tea, apple peel, organic apple cider vinegar and matcha.

“Following an isolated diet can create a false sense of ‘doing everything you can,’ when in fact your health could improve with more specific behavior. It’s always important to highlight these points for those who need more indepth care,” he says.

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