Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cut Fat, Eat Well and Live Longer

They say that good things never get old, and true to form, eating well is one of those things. Another truth? Just as you are what you eat, a healthy diet can help you to live healthier for longer.

It has long been known that healthy eating can lower your risk of developing chronic diseases and ultimately helps you live healthier for longer. It makes sense: if you can avoid getting sick, you can live a fuller, more active and fulfilling life for longer. But new research specifically points to the fact that in older age, following a lower-fat diet loaded with fruits and veggies helps lower the risk of dying.

The study looked at individuals aged 70-79 and found that those who ate less fruits and veggies with more fatty foods, especially those with saturated fats like cheese, fried foods and ice cream had an increased risk of dying over a ten year period. Participants in the "healthy foods" group ate more low-fat dairy products, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish, and vegetables, which is the basis of any healthy eating regimen. The risk of dying in this group was lower than any other group in the study.

Healthy eating can often seem like a daunting task, but there are a few basic points to follow that are really quite simple. Healthy eating isn't rocket science - all the healthiest "diets" and ways of eating have all the major points in common. Eat more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, nuts and seeds, small amounts of low-fat dairy products, less meat over all but choose lean meats (like pork or poultry) when you do, and eat more fish. It is also best to avoid saturated and trans fats, added sugars and too much alcohol. I guess that is why they also say "don't mess with a good thing" - certain points about healthy eating are universal.