Why small im­prove­ments in diet are im­por­tant

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle -

It’s hard to eat right all the time, but choos­ing health­ier foods ev­ery now and then might sig­nif­i­cantly boost one’s chances of liv­ing longer, sug­gests a study. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, im­prov­ing diet qual­ity over at least a dozen years is as­so­ci­ated with lower to­tal and car­dio­vas­cu­lar mor­tal­ity.

Re­searchers at Har­vard Univer­sity, US tracked di­etary changes in nearly 74,000 health pro­fes­sion­als who logged their eat­ing habits ev­ery four years. They used a sys­tem of diet-qual­ity scores to as­sess how much di­ets had im­proved. For in­stance, a 20-per­centile in­crease in scores could “be achieved by swap­ping out just one serv­ing of red or pro­cessed meat for one daily serv­ing of nuts or legumes,” read a sum­mary.

Over the 12-year span, those who ate a lit­tle better than ear­lier — pri­mar­ily by con­sum­ing more whole grains, fruits, veg­eta­bles, and fatty fish — saw an eight to 17% lower risk of dy­ing pre­ma­turely in the next 12 years. Those whose di­ets got worse over time saw a higher risk of dy­ing in the next 12 years of fol­low-up, on the or­der of a six to 12 per­cent in­crease.

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