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Eating the traditional Japanese diet may lead to a longer life, a new study finds.
Adults in Japan who closely followed that country's government-recommended dietary guidelines had a 15 percent lower risk of dying during a 15-year time period, as compared to people who didn't follow the guidelines, according to the new study.
In particular, those people who most closely followed the dietary guidelines were 22 percent less likely to die of stroke during the time period, according to the study.
The role the Japanese diet — which includes a high intake of fish and soybean products, and a low intake of fat — is of particular interest for research on life expectancy, the authors wrote.
Japan's dietary guidelines, presented as the "Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top," emphasize five types of dishes: grains, vegetables, fish and meats, milk, and fruits, the study said. The guidelines are represented by an inverted pyramid, with grains at the top, resembling a spinning top.
Using the results from the food-frequency questionnaire, the researchers calculated how closely the participants stuck to the dietary guidelines, according to the study. Those who followed the guidelines more closely had a 15-percent lower risk of dying during the follow-up period, compared with those who stuck to the guidelines less closely.
The overall lower rate of death in the group that followed the guidelines is likely due to the lower rates of death from cardiovascular disease, and in particular, stroke, the researchers wrote in the study. The people who ate a lot of vegetables and fruit, and ate enough fish and meat dishes, seemed to fare the best, the researchers said.
The researchers also noted that while fish and meat were considered together in one category in the study, Japanese people consume more fish and less beef and pork compared with Western populations.
2016.03.23 / 21:15