David Attenborough’s ‘long lifetime’ may be attributed to diet changes

Watch the trailer for David Attenborough's Wild Isles

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This Sunday (March 9, 2023), the first episode of a new five-part series, Wild Isles, will air on the BBC. Sir David Attenborough narrates the programme, which delves into Britain and Ireland’s awe-inspiring wildlife. “In my long lifetime, I have travelled to almost every corner of our planet,” said Sir Attenborough.

“I can assure you that in the British Isles, as well as astonishing scenery, there are extraordinary animal dramas and wildlife spectacles to match anything I have seen on my global travels.”

Speaking to The Sun in 2017, Sir David said: “I see no reason whatsoever why I can’t live past 100.

“I have certainly changed my diet. Not in a great sort of dramatic way. But I don’t think I’ve eaten red meat for months.”

Sir Attenborough added: “I do eat cheese, I have to say, and I eat fish. But by and large, I’ve become much more vegetarian over the past few years than I thought I would ever be.”

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Could Sir Attenborough’s diet be one factor that contributes to his longevity? It would seem so.

Cutting down on red meat is one way to help lower cancer risk, according to the NHS.

Red meat consumption is linked to bowel cancer, the national health service points out.

Red meat includes:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Mutton
  • Goat
  • Venison
  • Veal.

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Reducing processed meat consumption is also advisable, as it’s also linked to bowel cancer.

Processed meat:

  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Salami
  • Luncheon meats.

By adhering to a mostly vegetarian diet, Sir Attenborough is reducing his risk of bowel cancer, which can be a life-threatening condition.

A keen advocate for the environment, the broadcaster enjoys a productive work schedule.

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In a landmark eight-decade-long study, conducted by the University of California, the researchers found a strong connection between longevity and work.

They found that men and women who were continually productive were healthier and lived longer than their less-driven peers.

Sir Attenborough’s latest project has been three years in the making, so retirement doesn’t seem to be on the cards for this nature enthusiast.

In his older age, however, Sir Attenborough is at increased risk of disease, including dementia.

In fact, dementia risk doubles every five years after the age of 65, the Alzheimer’s Society notes.

While Sir Attenborough doesn’t have dementia, in recent times he’s experienced memory problems.

“There were these searing yellow fields, and I can’t think of the damn name,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.

“I wanted to say something about it, but I couldn’t, and it wasn’t until we got quite close to Geneva that I thought, of course, oil seed rape.”

David Attenborough’s Wild Isles is showcasing on Sunday, March 12 at 7pm.

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