Variety in meals hold key to longer life

Monday, October 18, 2010

LONDON - Food containing anti-oxidants, whole grains and vital fatty acids cut the risk of major illnesses like heart disease, Alzheimers and diabetes, a study shows.

Scientists found that the diet could reduce cholesterol - a major cause of heart disease - by a third and bring blood pressure down by nearly a tenth, reports

But rather than just a narrow range of foods being responsible for boosting health, the study showed that the answer was a widely varied diet that might include oily fish, porridge oats and blueberries.

It has long been known that keeping active and a healthy diet can hold back the onset of a range of diseases like heart problems and cancer.

Previous studies have put this down to eating lots of antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables and nuts, others to a diet rich in fish containing essential fatty acids, like fresh mackerel, and some to wholegrain cereals.

Nutritionist Angela Dowden said: The key is definitely to introduce these kinds of foods into the diet. It is a very healthy diet and completely proves the point that it is about healthy eating as a whole, not just doing one thing.

It is a lifestyle change instead of tweaks here and there. It could be that it is just one of the foods that is producing these effects but it is much more likely that it is an additive affect of them all contributing, she added.

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