The main causes of death have changed from infectious to chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease. These health issues can be impacted by diet. Researchers looked at data relating to the associations of mortality with dietary patterns by means of analyzing the eating behaviors of more than 2500 adults over a 10 year period. It was found that diets favoring healthy foods were linked to reduced mortality.
By establishing the frequency of consumption of 108 different foods, the individuals were assigned to 6 different groups based on predominant food choices:
- Desserts and Sweets – 339 individuals
- Refined grains – 458 individuals
- Breakfast Cereal – 386 individuals
- Alcohol Fried Foods, and Meat – 693 individuals
- High-Fat Dairy Products – 332 individuals
- Healthy Diet – 374 individuals
The “Healthy diet” group was characterized by comparatively higher consumption of whole grains, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, fruit, fish, and poultry, and lower intake of fried foods, meat, added fat, high-calorie drinks, and sweets. The “High fat dairy products” group had higher consumption of foods like cheese, ice cream, and 2% as well as whole milk and yogurt, with lower consumption of low-fat dairy products, poultry, pasta and rice.
The research was unique because it examined quality of life as well as nutritional status of individuals, through thorough biochemical methods, based on the dietary patterns of individuals. After controlling for age, gender, race, education, clinical site, smoking, physical activity, as well as total calorie intake, the “High-fat dairy products” group had a 40 percent higher risk of death than the “Healthy diet” group. The “Sweets and desserts” group had a 37 percent higher risk of mortality. There were no significant differences in mortality risk observed between the “Healthy diet” group and the “Refined grains” or “Breakfast cereal” groups.
The outcomes of this research indicate that individuals who adhere to a dietary pattern in line with current guidelines to eat relatively high quantities of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish and poultry, could have a lower mortality risk.