Long life can be achieved through a number of simple lifestyle changes. Not smoking, limiting alcohol intake and regular exercise have all been found to boost longevity. Another key component of a healthy lifestyle to increase life expectancy is eating a healthy diet. But with so many healthy diets on the cards, which one is best for adding years to a person’s life?
Over the last few decades, a number of studies have demonstrated how restricting meat can impact the body in a variety of positive ways, and have shown how vegan and vegetarian diets hold a host of benefits.
A plant-based diet has been shown to reduce the risk of serious health conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Some studies have even demonstrated how vegetarianism and veganism can protect against certain cancers.
A review published last year in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, scientists focused on the benefits of a plant-based diet on cardiovascular health.
Cardiovascular health concerns the heart and blood vessels.
Researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington D.C. looked at relevant studies over recent years.
Collating information from many clinical trials and observational studies, they found a plant-based diet was consistently linked with good heart health.
They concluded individuals who followed a plant-based diet:
- Had a 40 per cent reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Had a 40 per cent reduced risk of coronary heart disease
- Had a 34 per cent reduced risk of hypertension
Cholesterol levels were also found to be lower in vegetarians than non-vegetarians, and a plant-based diet was also shown to help achieve weight loss.
It was also noted more healthful diets and lifestyles lower the risk of heart attack by 81 to 94 per cent.
Coronary heart disease is a major cause of death both in the UK and worldwide, according to the NHS.
The health body explains: “Coronary heart disease is the term that describes what happens when your heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries.
“Over time, the walls of your arteries can become furred up with fatty deposits. This process is known as atherosclerosis and the fatty deposits are called atheroma.”
Atherosclerosis can be caused by lifestyle factors and other conditions, including high cholesterol.
Alongside a plant-based diet, and to reduce high cholesterol, experts advise cutting down on fatty food, especially because it contains a type of fat called saturated fat which considered bad.
When it comes to preventing another serious heart condition – heart attack – experts recommend eating the following six foods.