It’s annoying that cracking open a tinny or treating yourself to a glass of wine at the end of a long hard day often comes with a side portion of guilt. Same goes for chocolate, too, which is often demonised as something we shouldn’t be eating.
But we’ve got some great news all round, people! And that’s because a new study has suggested we can all indulge in beer, wine and chocolate AND still live a long and healthy life. Yep, what you just heard was the sound of one big collective sigh of relief.
The research – led by Professor Joanna Kaluza, from Warsaw University – found that people who enjoyed these treats (alongside a diet of fruit and veg, of course) were a fifth less likely to die prematurely than those who ate red meat, drank fizzy drinks and consumed processed foods.
Apparently this is all because of a magical thing called antioxidants. Joanna said: “It is known that fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, red wine, beer and chocolate are rich in antioxidants.”
The study of more than 68,000 participants, all aged between 45 to 83 years old, found those who had regular diets of anti-inflammatory foods were 18 percent less likely to die over the next 16 years than those who didn’t.
The results, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, found the participants eating anti-inflammatory foods had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases (20 percent) and cancer (13 percent).
In addition to fruit and veg, anti-inflammatory foods include things like wholegrain bread, low fat cheese, olive and canola oil and nuts. But as the Metro reports, these can be finished off with the odd bit of chocolate or glass of wine or beer.
Weirdly enough, it was the smokers who benefited most from this sort of diet, as they were a third less likely to die prematurely than the smokers who ate less healthily.
“Adherence to a diet with high anti-inflammatory potential may reduce all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality and prolong survival time, especially among current and former smokers,” added Joanna.
“Our dose response analysis showed even partial adherence to the anti-inflammatory diet may provide a health benefit.”
In other words, swap the crisps and fizzy drinks for some fruit and veg and you can enjoy the odd beer, wine and piece of chocolate and still be living your best life. Science, people! It’s an amazing thing.