NEW ORLEANS -- A new study suggests what foods you can eat to help prolong your life.
It also cites the wrong diet as the reason that more than 318,000 people died prematurely in 2012.
Doctors said they can boil it down to six foods you need to eat more of, and four you need to limit or cut out completely.
The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows your mother was right when she told you to eat your vegetables. Doctors now said the science backs her up.
"Of all the 700,000+ deaths from heart attack, stroke and diabetes that occurred in that year, we know now that 45 percent of them were likely to be related to these 10 dietary items," explained Dr. Ben Springgate, an Associate Professor of Medicine at LSU School of Medicine and LSU School of Public Health.
Those 10 items can now be separated into six that can help you live longer, and four that could shorten your life.
So, what's good? Seafood, especially those high in omega three fatty acids like salmon. The polyunsaturated fats in many vegetable oils, whole grains, seeds and nuts. Some doctors said tree nuts like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, and Brazil nuts are best. Fruits made the good list and of course a variety of colorful vegetables.
"A diet that's high in vegetables a is going to be typically lower in calories and higher in vitamins and minerals. So, that's a good start. It's also going to be lower in cholesterol content," said Dr. Springgate.
Foods to avoid: red meat. Doctors suggest only one serving a week. Salt, limiting that to less than a teaspoon daily and keeping in mind that it's hidden in many packaged foods. Two foods doctors said should never be eaten; processed meats, and the variety of sugary drinks. In other words, shop the outside aisles of your grocery.
"We know that those people who died, compared to those who didn't, ate substantially more of the bad foods and ate less of the good foods," he said.
While this advice should start early in childhood, every age can benefit.
"Small changes make a difference and it's virtually never too late," said Dr. Springgate.
The study also found that men, younger people, African-Americans and Hispanics were at higher risk of health problems from a poor diet.