Eating A Healthy Diet Can Have the Same Fitness Impact as Exercising, Study Shows

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A recent study suggests that adopting a healthier diet can have similar benefits to achieving 10,000 steps a day. Researchers discovered that increasing the consumption of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can be as advantageous for older adults as adding 4,000 extra steps to their daily routine.

Dietary habits improve multiple organ systems            

The study indicates that these dietary habits can improve multiple organ systems, including the lungs, heart, muscles, and blood vessels. Furthermore, the researchers note that diet plays a significant role in cardiorespiratory fitness, which measures the body’s ability to provide and utilize oxygen during physical activity.

According to Dr Michael Mi from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, these findings offer compelling evidence supporting the link between improved diets and increased fitness levels. In a press statement, Dr Mi said that the observed improvement in participants’ fitness, resulting from adopting healthier diets, is comparable to the impact of adding an extra 4,000 steps to their daily physical activity.

Research indicates that adopting healthy eating habits can potentially reduce the chances of developing cancer and heart disease, which are the leading death causes globally. It has been observed that individuals with similar levels of physical activity can exhibit varying levels of fitness, suggesting the involvement of other factors in play.

High-quality diet leads to better fitness

A study on 2,380 middle-aged American women and men sought to identify these factors. First, the participants were required to complete a food frequency questionnaire, which assessed their consumption of 126 food items over a year. Then, the researchers utilized their responses, which ranged from infrequent consumption to daily intake, to calculate diet quality scores using the Mediterranean-style Diet Score and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index.

A high-quality diet, including vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, fish, legumes, and healthy fats, while reducing red meat and alcohol intake, leads to better fitness in middle-aged adults. According to Dr Mi, adopting wholesome dietary patterns among middle-aged individuals exhibited a robust and positive correlation with physical fitness, even when factoring in their habitual activity levels.

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