Remain Healthier LongerPosted on : December 7, 2021
by Ashleigh Feltham Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist
While there is no magic pill to increase your lifespan, the choices you make can add up to either a lot of extra or lost time. One lifestyle factor which influences your chances of a longer life is your diet.
The Western Diet is typically high in red and processed meats, added sugar and fat and to put it simply, it can be life shortening. A recent study that supports this statement found that those people who swapped only 10% of their diet from beef and processed meats to selected seafood, fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes remained healthier for longer.
Here are some easy ways you can make a 10% change in your regular eating habit to gain years of life if maintained as a lifestyle.
- Swap half the red meat in bolognaise sauce for legumes like red kidney beans.
- Instead of a devon sandwich at lunch, try a salad sandwich with hummus or tahini.
- Move over, fried bacon and eggs. Try adding grilled mushrooms and tomatoes with a side of baked beans with your eggs in the morning.
- Instead of beef jerky sticks for a snack, try 2-3 wholegrain crackers with 50g of avocado and and a sprinkling of pepitas.
- Instead of takeaway pepperoni pizza, try making a pizza using Safcol Responsibly Fished Tuna in Springwater 185g or Safcol Premium Salmon Skinless and Boneless in Springwater 200g as the star protein with Italian herbs and spices, olives, red onion and mozzarella cheese.
- Swap a sausage roll for a grilled tofu sandwich.
- When making a food platter, try adding nuts, sliced boiled egg or grilled vegetables instead of processed meats.
- Make your own beef burger patties substituting half the amount of meat with finely chopped mushrooms. Mushrooms are great at soaking up the flavour of the red meat, making them the perfect swap.
Take home message
This study shows that you don’t need to become completely vegetarian to increase your chances of living longer. Remain healthier for longer by trying these easy swaps today. You may be adding years to your life if they become long term lifestyle choices.
- Stylianou, K.S., Fulgoni, V.L. & Jolliet, O. Small targeted dietary changes can yield substantial gains for human and environmental health. Nat Food 2, 616–627 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-021-00343-4