What to do…What to do

What to do…What to do

Have you ever found headlines confusing or that advice from one source contradicts another. Take the word diet, it is thrown around as something good to do to live longer and at the same time there are weight-loss schemes including pills, enemas, nasal sprays and tasteless foods. The reality is that your diet is everything that you eat or drink: good or bad, healthy or over the top. Experts state that approximately 25% of your risk of death is due to genetics and the other 75% is most likely the way and what you eat: your diet. This should come at some level of comfort—after all, you can control what you put in your mouth. If what you eat is fast food, you have some work to do. If you take the time to cook, eat slowly and carefully choose what you eat, the 75% is exciting. Some people choose to opt for ultra-restrictive eating planning that focuses on—or forbids—entire food groups. The bottom-line: they don’t last, and they’re not doing your health or longevity any favors. We are a very fortunate group of people, adopting an eating lifestyle that will extend our lives and keep us free of disease doesn’t require such extremes.

Magazines and books constantly herald cutting calories to lose weight. Some experts make the case that restricting the amount of food you consume may add years to your life. Studies of calorie restriction have revealed marked improvement in insulin concentration, fasting glucose and several other biomarkers tied to longevity. The bottom-line: you have to eat a very healthy diet to avoid malnutrition if you are going to reduce calories. A candy bar or soda for lunch means you are eating poor quality calories and you’re not getting enough nutritious calories. Your health risk has just increased.

You have control of at least 75% of your risk of death so take the time to cook, eat slowly, and carefully choose what you are eating.

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Sharlet Briggs, PHD
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