Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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‘You are what you eat’ is a statement that is even more pertinent when it comes to longevity and a reduction in risks of serious diseases. By following a certain diet, a multitude of healthy outcomes will ensue. Numerous studies and research have proven that a vegan or a vegetarian diet can help to boost longevity and reduce your risk of cancers and heart disease.
Vegan diets tend to be rich in nutrients which help to protect against illnesses and boost a person’s longevity.
Many people who follow this eating pattern also tend to make healthier lifestyle choices, such as exercising regularly and avoiding processed foods, all aiding in longevity.
A vegan diet comprises of more legumes, fruit and vegetables than non-vegan diets.
Reducing the amount of animal products has also been shown to help reduce the risk of prostate, breast and colon cancers.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, cardiovascular disease mortality and cancer incidence among vegetarians was investigated.
The study noted: “Prospective cohort studies have examined mortality and overall cancer incidence among vegetarians.
“Seven studies with a total of 124,706 participants were included in this analysis.
“All-cause mortality in vegetarians was nine percent lower than in non-vegetarians.
“The mortality from ischemic heart disease was significantly lower in vegetarians than in non-vegetarians.”
The study concluded that vegetarians have a significantly lower ischemic heart disease mortality (29 percent) and overall cancer incidence (18 percent) than non-vegetarians.
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In another study, vegetarian or vegan diets and its multiple health outcomes was further analysed.
Eighty-six cross-sectional and 10 cohort prospective studies were included in the analysis.
The analysis reported significant reduced levels of body mass index, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and glucose levels in vegetarians and vegans versus omnivores.
The study concluded a significant protective effect of a vegetarian diet versus the incidence and/or mortality from ischemic heart disease and incidence from total cancer.
“Vegan diet conferred a significant reduced risk of incidence from total cancer,” added the study.
Veganism eliminates all animal-based foods, including meat, dairy, eggs, and products derived from them.
This usually results in a diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Research and health experts suggest that diets loaded with these plant foods may help people live longer.
The same can be said about diets low in red and processed meats.
Moreover, vegan diets tend to pack plenty of fibre, plant protein, and antioxidants.
Diets rich in these nutrients are believed to safeguard against obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease which boosts one’s longevity.
Other methods to increase longevity
Exercising regularly can also ward off the threat posed by obesity and its associated risks.
As the NHS explains, having a healthy weight reduces your chances of developing high blood pressure – a precursor to life-threatening complications.
The health added: “Regular exercise will make your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient, lower your cholesterol level, and also keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.”
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