Doctors recommend plant-based diet to increase life expectancy

KBTX Brazos Valley This Morning(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 1:43 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The U.S. life expectancy fell for the second year in a row. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the average life expectancy is now 76.1 years old. That’s a 0.9 decline from 2021′s average of 77 years old.

That decline was mainly due to COVID-19, according to the CDC, but other factors include unintentional injuries, heart disease, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis and suicide.

Dr. Thomica James-Evans said most of these reasons are lifestyle related.

“You look at the causes of our death, and it’s all stuff that’s preventable,” James-Evans said. “That’s why it matters.”

James-Evans, the Plano SignatureCare Emergency Center medical director, said switching to a plant-based diet is one way to increase life expectancy. Adding plants to your diet can be a gradual move to replace processed foods.

She also recommends not drinking calories away with sugary drinks and alcohol.

“If you don’t drink your calories, you can lose a lot of calories, which therefore will help you lose some weight and take the pressure off of your organs,” James-Evans said.

A focus on personal mental health is another suggestion. The doctor said isolation during the height of the pandemic has had lasting effects on many people. She says exercising and getting out in nature are ways to alleviate this.

KBTX Brazos Valley This Morning(Recurring)

“The more you exercise, the better your sleep is as well, and we all know your body needs that rest and restoration period while you’re sleeping to reset itself,” James-Evans said.

If you would like to read the CDC’s complete study, click here.