The Secret to a Longer Life? Follow Directions

It seems that there’s a new study out every day proving that eating certain foods (like more veggies and less meat) or doing certain things (like getting enough exercise and sleep) can improve and/or extend your life. Reading—and thinking—are a good first step. But they’re not much unless you actually do something to make some changes. Ironically, there’s new research out proving exactly that.

The study, just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that reducing your risk of dying prematurely could be as simple as following the guidelines established by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

A team of European researchers led by Anne-Claire Vergnaud collected and analyzed data from more than 375,000 men and women aged 25-70. Both men and women were rated on whether they adhered to six specific WCRF/AICR recommendations:

  • Being as lean as possible without becoming underweight
  • Being physically active as part of everyday life
  • Limiting consumption of energy-dense foods and avoiding sugary drinks
  • Consuming mainly plant-based foods
  • Limiting the consumption of red meat and processed meat
  • Limiting alcoholic beverages

Women were also rated on a seventh factor, whether they breastfed their infants for up to six months.

Men who followed 5-6 of the guidelines—and women who followed 6-7—were 34% less likely to die during the study period than men who followed 0-2 and women 0-3. For each point added, the risk of death dropped 13 percent.

Ok. So you know what to do, right? Now, get out there and start doing it!

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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