This diet may be responsible for Japan’s incredible longevity…

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Their diet is rich in fish and pickled vegetables, may be responsible for Japan’s incredible longevity

On average, nobody lives longer than Japanese women. Their life expectancy is 87 years (and Japanese men, who live about 80 years, aren’t far behind). This remarkable longevity is suspected to be partly because the Japanese diet—filled with plants, fish and vegetables—is so healthy.

To see what kind of an influence Japan’s diet has on the health of its citizens, a team of researchers followed 79,594 adults for about 15 years. According to the results of the study, published in The BMJ, people who better adhered to the official governmental dietary guidelines had a 15% lower mortality rate.

The people in the study, who were 40-75 years old and came from all across Japan, filled out a dietary questionnaire and did so again five years later. Here are some of the 147 food items researchers asked about:

Everyone was given a score for how well they adhered to the Japanese food guidelines, and researchers tracked them for 15 years to see how diet related to death from all causes—particularly cancer and cardiovascular diseases like stroke.


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