by Caitlin H,
Jan 30, 2023
If the potential of adding years to your life by making small changes appeals to you, listen up.
Improving the quality of foods you eat daily — even just a little — can extend your life, no matter how old you are. Scientists published these findings in a New England Journal of Medicine study.
The study analyzed the lifestyle and diet habits of about 74,000 people between the ages of 30 and 75 for more than 20 years. They used scoring systems like the Alternate Healthy Eating Index. The researchers found that anyone can benefit significantly from swapping processed, sugar- and sodium-laden foods with more nutritious options.
The study also indicated that following the Mediterranean Diet, which leverages wholesome ingredients packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains and unsaturated fats, led to higher diet scores for participants. The study found that those who continuously had high diet scores were up to 14% less likely to die of external causes than those who had poor diet scores.
Thankfully, the research also showed that any participant, whether older or younger, reduced mortality likeliness anytime their diet scores improved.
With those encouraging results in mind, we rounded up five simple diet swaps that can improve your nutritional intake — and maybe even add years to your life!
1) Seltzer for Soda
It’s easy to drink a can of soda or pour yourself a glass of juice or lemonade without thinking about what’s actually in it. Unfortunately, those beverages are laden with sugar and unexpected calories that may expand your waistline without you even realizing it.* Instead, fill your fridge with things like flavored seltzers or probiotic waters, which are low- or no-calorie beverages that keep you hydrated without adding excess sugar to your diet.
2) Nuts for Nacho Chips
Potato chips, crackers and even cereal are all typical snacks we like to grab handfuls of throughout the day. They may taste great but are typically packed with a ridiculous amount of sodium. Thankfully, you can swap them out for protein-packed nuts. Nuts are also low in saturated fats and come in various tasty options. Plus, they’re the perfect fill-in if it’s that crunchy texture you’re after.
3) Crops for Cookies
Fruits and veggies may not seem very exciting. Still, the wide variety of crops available to you makes it possible to satisfy any sweet-tooth craving. Raw fruits and vegetables contain several vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. They’re as easy to snack on as the cookies in that store-bought package, which are highly processed and laden with sugar and salad and have a meager nutritional value.
4) Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil
Both olive oil and vegetable oil are everyday household staples many of us cook with daily. Olive oil is among the least-processed foods and plays a significant role in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Its low-processed status means it typically has more vitamins and antioxidants than its vegetable oil counterpart. Many chefs swear by it, saying it brings out more robust flavors and works better for most cooking scenarios.
5) Chicken for Hotdogs
You might be mistaken if you thought you were doing okay on the protein front by heating up some canned meat, ham, bacon or hotdogs for dinner. Most store-bought versions of these typical dinnertime meals are super-processed, and studies have linked them to things like heart disease and cancer. Choose something like chicken, pork chops, fish or turkey instead, which retain their nutritional value and, frankly, taste a lot better, too!
6) – Swap your usual diet for a Diet-to-Go menu plan!
Making simple diet swaps can go a long way toward adding years to your life. If you’re not sure where to begin, we can help! Our meals are controlled for calories, portion size, sodium content and nutrition. If you’re worried you can’t do without your weekend pancake breakfast, we’ve got you covered. Don’t want to miss out on pasta night? We have so many pasta dishes to choose from. We have simple swaps you can choose to make sure you’re satisfied, while eating foods you love!
Check out our menus and get started today!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.