Even if you're 75 when you finally give up the burger for healthier options, such as vegetables and fruits, you'll still start seeing your health turnaround, say researchers who tracked the diets and health of around 2,000 middle-aged men and women.
Most saw a big drop in their weight, and total body fat—including fat around the liver—and this reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes a range of indicators for diabetes and heart disease in particular.
People starting a healthy diet were as young as 45 and old as 75 years, and they stuck with it for at least three years, researchers from the University of Hawaii Cancer Centre discovered.
They followed a range of different healthy diets, although the most popular was the Mediterranean diet, which emphasises fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, fatty fish and olive oil. Most had been eating a 'fast food' or typical Western diet, which included sugar-sweetened drinks, processed food, and refined grains.
After the three years, the participants went through a series of health checks, which tested for body-mass index (BMI), body fat and liver fat.