Exercise alone won’t cut it, according to researchers from the University of Sydney. You have to eat well too.

Their new study showed that high levels of physical activity were not enough to counteract the effects of poor diet.

The researchers examined the independent and combined effects of diet and physical activity on all-cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality risk among over 350, 000 British adults. Their data was provided by the UK Biobank Project, an ongoing, large-scale biomedical study monitoring participants’ biological, behavioral, and health changes over time.

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Exercise and eat well if you want to be healthy

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For the purposes of this study, researchers defined a high-quality diet as anything including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, two weekly portions of fish , and an overall low consumption of red and processed meats.

In comparison to those who were either inactive and following a poor diet, people who exercised regularly and ate a healthy diet displayed a 17% lower all-cause mortality risk, a 19% lower cardiovascular disease mortality risk, and a 27% lower mortality risk associated with certain cancers.

“Both regular physical activity and a healthy diet play an important role in promoting health and longevity,” says lead study author Associate Professor Melody Ding from the Charles Perkins Centre and the Faculty of Medicine and Health in a university release.

“Some people may think they could offset the impacts of a poor diet with high levels of exercise or offset the impacts of low physical activity with a high-quality diet, but the data shows that unfortunately this is not the case.”

“Adhering to both a quality diet and sufficient physical activity is important for optimally reducing the risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancers,” adds study co-author Joe Van Buskirk, from the School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health.

Fast Food Lowers Testosterone Levels in Men

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Your favorite fast foods are wrecking your manliness. Pro-inflammatory fast foods high in PUFAs are reducing testosterone levels in men.

Not only are fast foods that contain ultra-processed foodsseed oils, and refined sugars that all contribute towards ill health and obesity, but they can also destroy your testosterone levels.

We have already discussed how sugar has been shown to sharply lower testosterone levels, it is now time to turn our attention to its common pairing: fast food.

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While earlier projects suggest intense exercise may help defend against detrimental physiological responses to overeating, the Australian researchers say the long-term nature of how diet and exercise interact with each other to dictate health outcomes remains woefully understudied. This new study, at least, confirms the importance of exercise and quality diet in relation to all-cause and cause-specific risks of death.

“This study reinforces the importance of both physical activity and diet quality for achieving the greatest reduction in mortality risk,” Prof. Ding concludes. “Public health messages and clinical advice should focus on promoting both physical activity and dietary guidelines to promote healthy longevity.”

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