Transcript: What Women Should Eat to Live Longer
The Harvard Nurse’s Health Study, involving more than 100,000 women, was started in 1976 and so as you can imagine, it is now the most definitive long-term study ever on older women’s health. Since the study started, thousands of participants died. And now, thanks to all that hard work, 35 years later, they published the “risk factors for mortality,” and because it was a so-called competing risks analysis it allows one to compare different risks to one another.
The number one single cause of death? Heart disease, and so no surprise that dietary cholesterol consumption was a significant risk factor for death. The second leading cause was smoking-related cancer deaths. Comparing the two, consuming the amount of cholesterol found in just a single egg a day appears to cut a woman’s life short as much as smoking five cigarettes a day, for 15 years.
The most protective behavior they found was fiber consumption. Eating just a cup of oatmeal’s worth of fiber a day appears to extend a woman’s life as much as four hours of jogging a week, but of course there’s no reason you can’t do both.
The one specific food most tied to longevity was nuts. You appear to get four hours of weekly jogging benefit eating just two handfuls of nuts a week as well.
Taking a step back, though, it’s worth noting that the intake of cholesterol, only found in animal foods, was associated with living a shorter life and the intake of fiber, only found in plant foods, was associated with living a longer life.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena.
Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.