Eating oily fish once a week, avoiding the added sugars and salts of processed foods and adding five portions of fruit and vegetables to your daily diet can have a dramatic effect on our health and longevity, say researchers from King's College London.
The great news is that it's never too late to start. Their study of 162 healthy men and women included some who were 70 years of age. The other piece of good news is that the benefits can happen quite quickly, and within 12 weeks of starting the healthier diet.
Just by making the changes, the participants lost weight, reduced their waist circumference, and lowered their blood pressure levels compared to those who weren't put on the healthier diet.
The overall benefit was a one-third reduction in their risk of heart disease and stroke, say the researchers, who were especially excited by the results because all the participants were considered healthy and without any of the usual risk factors-as are most people who develop cardiovascular disease, they say.
(Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015; doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.097352)