Many years ago, the ageless Cher made a gym commercial. There she was looking incredibly fit and glamorous and said, "If it came in a bottle, everyone would look like this."
She was promoting gym memberships, but the message was to be fit you need to work your body. That is, real physical change takes work. The same goes for health and longevity.
There have always been companies selling supplements for better health. They market their products saying all natural ingredients and that they're made from real foods and herbs.
But the bottom line is you still have to eat delicious and nutritious foods for optimal health and longevity. This has been supported once again in research published this month in Nature Food.
The data and analysis for this study come from the United Kingdom. Researchers wanted to quantify how changes in food intake would increase life expectancy for different age groups.
They hypothesize that adherence to the Eatwell Guide, the UK version of our dietary guidelines, would translate into gains in life expectancy at different stages of life. In fact, they call it longevity associated dietary patterns.
They developed a tool for estimating changes in life expectancy with changes in food choices. Their results were that people aged 40 with an average adherence to a longevity associated eating pattern could add three years in life expectancy with diet improvement. People with the unhealthiest eating patterns could gain 10 years with a change to the longevity associated eating pattern.
For 70-year-old men and women, the change from unhealthy diet to longevity diet could add about three to four years to life expectancy. The message here is it's never too late.
You know what is coming next: Consuming less sugar-sweetened beverages and processed meats and eating more whole grains and nuts were estimated to result in the biggest improvements in life expectancy.