This diet may boost healthy aging in women

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Scientists from the University of Michigan found that eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in added sugar, sodium, and processed meats could help promote healthy cellular aging in women.

The key takeaway is that following a healthy diet can help us maintain healthy cells and avoid certain chronic diseases.

The team says the emphasis should be placed on improving the overall quality of your diet rather than emphasizing individual foods or nutrients.

The research is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology and was conducted by Cindy Leung et al.

In the study, the researchers used telomere length to measure cellular aging.

Telomeres are DNA-protein structures located on the ends of chromosomes that promote stability and protect DNA. Age is the strongest predictor of telomere length—telomeres shorten in length during each cell cycle.

However, recent studies have shown that telomeres can also shorten due to behavioral, environmental, and psychological factors.

Shorter telomeres have been associated with an increased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

The team examined the diets of a nationally representative sample of nearly 5,000 healthy adults and how well they scored on four evidence-based diet quality indices, including the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and two commonly used measures of diet quality.

They found for women, higher scores on each of the indices were significantly associated with longer telomere length.

The findings were consistent regardless of the diet quality index we used.

All four diets emphasize eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based protein and limiting consumption of sugar, sodium, and red and processed meat.

Overall, the findings suggest that following these guidelines is associated with longer telomere length and reduces the risk of major chronic disease.

The team says the commonality to all of the healthy diet patterns is that they are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory diets. They create a biochemical environment favorable to telomeres.

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If you care about nutrition, please read studies that vitamin K may lower your heart disease risk by a third, and this diet can make your body frail.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about unhealthy diet that may cause vision loss, and results showing a low-carb diet may help reverse brain aging.

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