House Call: It's never too late to eat healthy

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - A new study says people who began eating more healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fish were able to significantly lower their risk for death in as few as 8 years.

Dr. Seth Sullivan joined us on First News at Four on Wednesday to break down the study.

He says the study already affirms what people already know, but sometimes have a hard time following.

Here's more from the study published in Medscape Medical News:

"Our study indicates that even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence mortality risk, and conversely, worsening diet quality may increase the risk," Dr Sotos-Prieto told Medscape Medical News in an email. "In addition, these findings underscore the importance of maintaining a high diet quality over a long term in reducing mortality risk."

She and her colleagues reported their findings in an article published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Many studies have shown an association between diet and mortality, and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for American recommends the Alternate Healthy Eating Index, the Alternate Mediterranean, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).

Although the three diets differ in detail, all three emphasize food groups that contribute to healthy diets, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and fish or omega-3 fatty acids, Dr Sotos-Prieto and colleagues write.
To find out what happens when people switch to these diets after eating less healthy diets, the researchers examined data from the Nurses' Health Study, which enrolled 121,700 registered nurses who were aged 30 to 55 years of age in 1977, and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which enrolled 51,529 US health professionals who were 40 to 75 years of age in 1986.

Participants filled out questionnaires at baseline and every 2 years after that, with follow-up rates better than 90% in both studies