Live Longer with Whole Grains and Legumes

Live longer

In addition to being good for you and the planet, did you know enjoying whole grains and legumes daily can add years to your life? A new study published just last week has highlighted the importance of following a healthy diet for longevity(1), and the findings may surprise you.

Conducted by researchers from Norway, this modelling study aimed to determine the impact of sustained dietary changes on life expectancy.

Key Findings

  • Following a healthy diet rich in plant-foods such as whole grains and legumes, can increase a 20-year-olds life expectancy by 10.7 years for females and up to 13 years for males
  • Even for 80-year-olds, gains of 3.4 years are possible for both females and males following a healthy diet long term.  
  • The most effective way to increase life expectancy is eating more legumes (+2.2 and 2.5 years for females and males, respectively), whole grains (+2.0 and 2.3 years), and nuts (+1.7 and 2.0 years), and eating less red meat (+1.6 and 1.9 years) and processed meats (+1.6 and 1.9 years).

This research has shown that it is never too late to start making healthy food choices and adults of all ages can benefit from enjoying more whole grains and legumes. Check out the GLNC website for more information on how to incorporate more whole grains and legumes into your usual diet: https://www.glnc.org.au/

For personalised nutrition advice, we recommend seeking support from an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD).


1.               Fadnes, L.T.; Økland, J.-M.; Haaland, Ø.A.; Johansson, K.A. Estimating impact of food choices on life expectancy: A modeling study. PLOS Medicine 2022, 19, e1003889, doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003889.

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