This Diet Reduces Your Risk Of Death By 10 Percent, New Study Finds

mbg Contributor By Elizabeth Gerson
mbg Contributor
Elizabeth Gerson is a former mindbodygreen intern and a student at Stanford University studying Psychology and Communication with a specialization in Health & Development.
This Diet Reduces Your Risk Of Death By 10 Percent, New Study Finds

For many of us, our paths to wellness have been anything but straight: trying a myriad of new diets, exercises, and practices to ultimately become our happiest selves. No matter where you are on your journey, we've got some good news: New research has found that it's never too late to improve your health, and one specific diet can help you do so.

Researchers out of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health followed almost 75,000 people for over 12 years, taking into account how much of their diet was plant-based. They found that no matter at what point they started, integrating high-quality plant-based foods lowered their risk of death by 10 percent.

The key here is "high-quality." Sure, soda is plant-based and french fries are vegan, but these nutritionally lacking foods won't do much to help you in the long run. The researchers also found that for those who consistently snacked on low-quality plant-based foods, their risk of death jumped by 11 percent.

This is the first study to home in on the idea that it doesn't matter when you start to make healthier decisions, you'll still reap benefits. It's also unique in that it examines all causes of death, not just heart disease or diabetes.

So what exactly constitutes as a "high-quality" plant-based food? For the researchers, they cited veggies, fruits, nuts, and unprocessed whole grains as the real winners.

Although the study took into account all sorts of other factors (age, genetics, race, and weight, for example), the research is still correlational, not causal. Even so, this is opening new doors around the topic of the benefits of a plant-based diet.

If you're itching to go vegan, we've got all the tips on how to ease yourself into it. Not into going full vegan? No problem. Consuming more plant-based meals is good for your health and, as recent research suggests, better for the planet.

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