October 20, 2018
Mature couple enjoying making dinner together
Wellness Tip

Healthy Diet, Healthy Lungs

by Berkeley Wellness  

Eating a healthy diet may lower the risk of lung disease, according to a study in the British medical journal BMJ, which followed more than 120,000 people for up to 14 years.

Those who scored highest on the Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010 were about one-third as likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as those who scored lowest, after factors like age, smoking, weight, race, and education were controlled for. This index assesses diet quality based on six healthful components (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and polyunsaturated fats) and four detrimental ones (sugary drinks, red and processed meat, trans fat, and sodium).

Higher-scoring diets may help protect against lung disease due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Though most cases of COPD are caused by smoking, the findings support the importance of diet as well, the researchers concluded.

Also see Can Diet Prevent Dementia?