In a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists followed 74,000 people between the ages of 30 and 75 for over 20 years.
They tracked changes in what they ate, and recorded their diets and lifestyle choices.
Results: People who ate less junk food were up to 14% less likely to die of any cause during the study period than people who had consistently poor diets.
But people who made even a small change to improve their diet –replacing sugary drinks with water, or eating a serving of nuts daily – had at least an 8% drop in overall mortality, and up to a 15% drop in risk of dying from heart disease specifically.
A separate study found that switching to a Mediterranean diet at age 60 and sticking with it, could extend lifespan by up to 11 years!