We might one day be able to live in 150 thanks to some wicked new drugs or biotechnological enhancements. But until then, we have to rely on improving our lifespan the old-fashioned way: staying healthy and eating right. It turns out diet might play a more outsized role than we thought. A new peer-reviewed study published in PLOS Medicine on Tuesday suggests that a young adult living in the U.S. could add more than 10 years to their expected lifespan simply by pivoting away from a typical Western diet and closer to a traditional Mediterranean diet. That means eating much less red and processed meat; and eating many more legumes, whole grains, and nuts. “Food is fundamental for health, and global dietary risk factors are estimated to cause 11 million deaths and 255 million disability-adjusted life years annually,” Norwegian nutrition researcher and lead study author Lars Thore Fadnes told The Daily Beast. “Understanding the health potential of different food groups could enable people to make feasible and significant health gains.” Though previous studies have sought to characterize how diet is associated with lifespan, none have done so “with the same detail” and this new study, said Fadnes. For the new study, Fadnes and his colleagues ran a broad analysis of data from the Global Burden of Diseases study—a comprehensive 2019 investigation that measured the trends and associations of hundreds of causes of deaths, diseases, and risk factors around the world. They used that data to build a model that identifies key associations between diet and lifespan. Through the model, the team found that a typical 20-year-old American woman who switched to a more optimal diet would likely see her life expectancy increase by an average of 10.7 years; for American men, the average was 13 years. Even older individuals would experience gains in life expectancy by making the same dietary changes, though these would be a tad more modest (about 8 years for women aged 60 . . . read the full article here.