How to Eat to Live Longer

Six Top Tips To Live Longer Through Diet

Nutritious Foods

Nutritious Foods

By Stephanie Breakstone, Prevention

More and more research suggests that what we eat is linked to how long we live. “The Biggest Loser” nutritionist Cheryl Forberg, R.D., sets eating guidelines to help contestants get healthy. “What works best for weight loss helps slow the aging process as well,” says Forberg, an expert in anti-aging nutrition.

1. Have a daily dose of omega-3s. “I like to call them the anti-aging fat,” say Forberg. Getting the recommended amount can help lower cholesterol, keep cells functioning properly, and combat inflammation, which reduces your risk of cancer, stroke, and heart attack. Flaxseed, walnuts, and some leafy greens contain omega-3s, but seafood is the best source. Research published in the December 2008 Journal of Nutrition found that DHA, an omega-3 found in cold-water, fatty fish, helps keep aging brains healthy.

Have two 3-ounce servings of salmon, herring, lake trout, or other fatty fish a week; and a daily serving of ground flaxseed, walnuts, soybean oil, spinach, or kale.

2. Eat antioxidants every four hours. These nutrients slow the aging process by protecting our cells from harmful free radicals. But some, such as vitamin C, are water soluble. “That means they only remain in our body for four to six hours, so you have to replenish regularly,” explains Forberg. Vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables are loaded with these disease-fighting substances.

Have a fruit or veggie at every meal and snack—and aim for three to five different colors a day.

3. Double your fiber. It may help protect against cancer and can keep blood sugar levels steady and promote heart health. In fact, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, every additional 10 g of dietary fiber consumed daily reduces the risk of death from coronary heart disease by 17 percent. The daily recommendation is 25 to 35 g per day; most Americans eat half or less.

Boost your intake with star sources: cooked lentils (8 g per ½ cup), cooked chickpeas (6 g per ½ cup), barley (16 g per ½ cup), apples (4 g in one medium), and raspberries (8 g per cup).

4. Stop when you’re 80 percent full. Centenarians in Okinawa, Japan, practice this eating ritual; they also consistently consume a lower-calorie diet, which researchers hypothesize is a key component to longevity. Eating slowly can automatically help control calories: A recent study found that women who ate at slower rates felt fuller and ate fewer calories than those who ate more quickly.

The key is to stop when you’re satisfied, not stuffed, says Forberg. A reminder: “You shouldn’t have to unbutton or unzip anything.”

5. Get about 25 percent of calories from healthy fats. The good-for-you variety—like monounsaturated fatty acids—can lower bad LDL cholesterol, raise cardio-protective HDL cholesterol, and decrease your risk of atherosclerosis. Plus, studies suggest that a higher intake of these fats may also contribute to longer life expectancy. For a 1,600-calorie diet, that’s about 44 g per day.

Healthy fats include 1/4 cup of pistachios (7 g), 1/4 cup of almonds (11 g), 1 tablespoon of olive oil (10 g) or 1/4 cup of avocado (3.5 g).

6. Pack protein into every meal and snack. Protein provides essential building blocks for the daily repair of nearly every single cell in your body. Getting enough is critical to your health and vitality, especially as you get older, when cellular damage can become more frequent. Aim to get 30 percent of your daily calories (or 120 g based on a 1,600-calorie diet) from lean protein.

Good sources of protein include skinless white meat from chicken, pork, or turkey (about 21 g per 3 ounces), fat-free milk (8 g per cup), egg whites (7 g for two), and beans (about 8 g per 1/2 cup).

Material adapted from The Biggest Loser 30-Day Jump Start by Cheryl Forberg, R.D.; Melissa Roberson; Lisa Wheeler; and The Biggest Loser Experts and Cast (Rodale; available Feb. 17 wherever books are sold). Copyright 2009 by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP, The Biggest Loser and NBC Studios, Inc., and Reveille LLC. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, Penn. 18098.

Provided by Prevention

Posted by on Feb 3rd, 2009 and filed under Nutrition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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