If you’re someone who obsessively keeps track of their daily steps, then this new study might be right up your alley. New research suggests that what you eat can also help contribute to your daily step goals. In fact, adopting a healthier Mediterranean-style diet may be equal to taking 4,000 more steps.
Published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, the study suggests that a healthy diet and cardiorespiratory fitness have a direct link with each other.
The study included 2,380 adults, with an average age of 54 years. The researchers mapped their peak VO2, which is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption attainable during physical activity. They did this by asking them to take part in a cardiopulmonary exercise test. The subjects were also asked to fill out a food frequency questionnaire, which helped the researchers score their diet quality on the Alternative Healthy Eating Index and the Mediterranean-style Diet Score.
They discovered that the higher scores showed a better quality diet consisting of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes, fish, nuts, and healthy fats. They also limited the consumption of red meat and alcohol.
“This study provides some of the strongest and most rigorous data thus far to support the connection that better diets may lead to higher fitness,” said study author Dr. Michael Mi of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in a statement, “The improvement in fitness we observed in participants with better diets was similar to the effect of taking 4,000 more steps each day.”
The researchers claimed that further investigation is required in the field but it can be safely concluded that eating healthy is associated with better metabolic rate.