Healthy Diet for Healthy Aging

Nutrients. 2021 Nov 29;13(12):4310. doi: 10.3390/nu13124310.


Extending healthspan is a major public health challenge. Diet is one of the modifiable factors for preventing age-related diseases and preserving overall good health status during aging. Optimizing individuals' intrinsic capacity, including domains in cognition, psychological, sensory function, vitality, and locomotion, has been proposed as a model of healthy aging by the World Health Organization. To better understand the relationships between a healthy diet and healthy aging, this review summarizes the recent epidemiologic and clinical data for dietary patterns that have been shown to play a role in (domains of) healthy aging. Regardless of priori or posteriori dietary patterns, it appears that dietary patterns centered on plant-based foods have a beneficial role in (domains of) healthy aging. Our review identified a knowledge gap in dietary patterns and multidimensional concepts of healthy aging. More epidemiological studies should consider intrinsic capacity as an outcome measure to further our understanding of a healthy diet and multidimensional concepts of healthy aging. When a sufficient number of epidemiological studies is available, evidence can be synthesized and clinical trials can be designed to evaluate a healthy diet as a strategy for healthy aging to further our progress in translating evidence to practice and promoting healthy aging.

Keywords: diet; healthspan; healthy aging; intrinsic capacity; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diet, Healthy / methods*
  • Elder Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Female
  • Healthy Aging / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged