Study: Typical Western Diet Not Ideal For Aging Well

Burger and FriesTo age well, a new study suggests skipping the fried and sweet foods, red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products found in a so-called “Western” diet and opting for something a little healthier.

Researchers found that eating too much fatty and processed foods reduces your likelihood of reaching your golden years in glowing good health. Announced this week, study results appear in the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

“The impact of diet on specific age-related diseases has been studied extensively, but few investigations have adopted a more holistic approach to determine the association of diet with overall health at older ages,” says lead investigator Dr. Tasnime Akbaraly of INSERM, a biomedical and public health research institution in Montpelier, France.

Investigators analyzed findings from the British Whitehall II cohort study, which followed 3,775 men and 1,575 women from 1985 to 2009.

During the followup period, 13 percent of the subjects had a nonfatal cardiovascular issue, three percent died from heart-related causes, and sevent percent died from other causes. Those who ate a Western diet were less likely to have ideal aging, Akbaraly said.

A better diet option? A mountain of research has proven the health-promoting benefits of the
Mediterranean diet. Recently, researchers from Universidad de Navarro in Spain found that eating a diet rich in olive oil, nuts, fruits and vegetables along with wine can reduce your risk for cardiovascular problems. Findings were published in February in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Another study published last year suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet along with regular exercise, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight could add 15 years to a woman’s life, or 8.5 years to a man’s. That research was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Click here to access the new study.



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