15 Dietary Changes for a 13-Year Lifespan Boost

plant-based diet

“It is always good to develop healthy eating habits early in life to avoid lifestyle disorders. Though a nutritious diet has a significant role in lifespan, it should be combined with sufficient exercise, sleep, and rest”. The study also stated that there is always time to begin, as even at the age of 60, eating properly can help prolong a woman’s life by eight years and a man’s by nine. People can live an extra 3.5 years once they turn 80 years old.

Food is crucial for health. Dietary risk factors are responsible for an estimated 11 million deaths worldwide each year. This is about twice as many deaths as were caused by COVID-19 throughout the epidemic. Improving the population’s food habits is a vital health strategy that allows individuals to live longer lives and make those years more enjoyable and healthier. Also, dietary improvements can have a significant environmental impact.

An individual’s life expectancy is the number of years he can anticipate living after reaching a specific age. 

Various scientific studies have analysed the impact of each diet on the risk of premature death. Consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, refined cereals or flours, nuts and legumes (e.g., lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas, etc.), fish, eggs, milk or dairy products, red meats and processed meats (burgers, sausages, etc.), and sugary drinks (e.g., soft drinks and non-dietary flavoured juices) has different health effects.

3- Compared diets:

(i) a typical Western diet, (ii) an optimal or optimised diet, and (iii) an intermediate diet in changes, that is, possible or with a viability approach (it would be the one “halfway” between the healthiest diet and the one consumed by the majority of the Western population, which is the least healthy).

A study reveals that healthy lifestyle choices could extend our lives by up to 13 years, independent of our genetic composition.

As life expectancy rises around the world, there is an increasing interest in living healthily for as long as possible, with some attempting to reduce their “biological age” and others resorting to personalised treatment to avoid health problems. 

Healthy lifestyle choices appeared to offset the impact of genes on longevity.

Participants who led “unfavourable” lifestyles were 78% more likely to die early than people with favourable lifestyles, regardless of whether they had genes linked to a shorter or longer lifespan.

The study also found that those who were genetically predisposed to short lifespans were 21% more likely to die early than those predisposed to longer lives, even if they made favourable lifestyle choices. At the same time, a healthy lifestyle appeared to offset the effects of genes linked to a shorter lifespan by 62%.

Quitting smoking, exercising frequently, getting enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet may help you live longer.

The researchers argued that quitting smoking, exercising frequently, sleeping seven to eight hours each night, and eating a balanced diet comprised an “optimal lifestyle mixture,” which looked to help people live longer lives while being sustainable over time.

The study classified appropriate exercise as 150 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, gardening, or tennis, or 75 minutes of intense activity per week, such as hiking, swimming, or heavy garden labour, as the American Heart Association recommended. A balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, low in red and processed meat, is considered healthy.

 “The study does not advise people to become vegans or vegetarians. It recommends consuming less meat and more vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. Start by preparing one or two plant-based family dinners each week.”

Here’s how Norwegian researchers think you can extend your life:


They discovered that if a 20-year-old male who previously ate no legumes (beans, chickpeas, and lentils) began to eat 200g per day (the equivalent of one large bowl of lentil soup), his life expectancy might improve by about two and a half years.


Eating 225g of whole grain items regularly, such as porridge, wholemeal bread, wheat cookies, couscous, and brown rice, can add up to two years to your life if done consistently from a young age.


Just one handful (25g) of unsalted nuts regularly could help you live up to two years longer.

No red or processed meat.

 According to the study, eliminating red and processed meats, which are generally heavy in fat and salt, might add up to four years to your life. If you don’t want to give up meat, Denby recommends eating it less frequently and only eating healthy, locally produced, or organic meats.

“Processed foods frequently have a lot of salt, and it’s the sodium content that’s far more worrying than flavours and colourings—it’s directly connected to elevated cholesterol levels and heart disease,” he said. “That does not mean you should never have a bacon butty; just go to a neighbourhood farm shop and get really good sausage, and only have it rarely.”

Although the positive effect decreases with age, it remains present. A few more years confirmed benefits. The full effects were apparent 13 years after the persistent dietary modification.

Seek professional assistance. 

Collaborate with a qualified dietitian or nutritionist to create a personalised diet plan based on your specific needs, health objectives, and preferences. Professional advice can provide essential insight and support as you work towards a healthier, longer life.

Positive benefits were also shown in those who converted from the normal Western diet to a practicable or intermediate diet at any age: if the transition takes place after the age of 20, males can gain 7.3 years of life and women 6.2 years.

Taking more beans, whole grains, and nuts and less processed and red meat may be the most efficient way to extend the lifespan of a person on a conventional European diet, beginning 10 years after the change in habits. It’s also beneficial to consume more fruits and vegetables.

 Finally, a long-term diet modification, or eating healthier regularly, can have significant health benefits. The more quickly in life, the more advantageous, and it’s always too late to change; there are always advantages.


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