5 Dietary Changes Today Will Yield More Tomorrows
As our daily lives speed by, it is natural to wonder how we might to stretch out the years ahead of us. The quest for longevity isn’t necessarily the same thing as the search for the fountain of youth, but if we seek the former in the right way, we may also achieve the latter.
Think about your favorite houseplant. When you notice the leaves are turning brown, what do you do? Do you get some green paint and slather it on the leaves or do you heal it from the inside out? For humans, healthy eating is the key a long healthy life. By starting today with these 5 changes, you can add the years you desire.
Monitor Calorie Intake and Quality
Balanced caloric consumption/expenditure is the first step toward longevity. Start by eliminating junk foods which are high in unhealthy fats, processed sugar, and salt. Make every calorie of every food nutrient-dense.
Eating primarily leafy green vegetables, low-sugar fruits, fish, nuts, garlic, dark chocolate, and red wine can reduce your risk of heart disease by 75%, potentially adding years to your life. Together, these foods battle the symptoms of metabolic disease including hypertension, elevated blood sugar, cholesterol imbalance, excess visceral fat, and inflammation.
Reduce Red Meat Consumption
A recent study of vegetarian and vegan populations shows a longer life expectancy for people who eat less red meat. It’s high in calories and though it does contain necessary nutrients, there are alternative sources. Omitting or limiting red meat leaves more space for antioxidant-rich, plant-based foods which neutralize daily toxin exposure and protect against age-related brain dysfunction such as memory loss and dementia.
Increase Fish Consumption
In appropriate portion sizes, cold-water, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and trout are particularly good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s also prevent symptoms of metabolic disease, especially hypertension and elevated triglycerides and reduce heart arrhythmias, joint dysfunction, depression, and memory loss.
Eat 6 Small Meals a Day
Redistribute your caloric intake throughout the day. About three hours after you eat, your blood sugar begins to fall, continuing until you eat again. Small meals which combine lean protein, healthy fat, and high-fiber carbohydrates stave off extreme hunger which leads to overconsumption. Smaller, more frequent meals stabilize blood sugar and hormones (insulin) allowing you to control both overall caloric intake and decisions you make about calorie sources.
Making these crucial dietary changes can add years to your life, but starting out may require additional motivation. Combine this long-term goal with some which provide more immediate gratification. Looser-fitting pants, more energy, or a smaller food budget are a few short-term aims that may strengthen your resolve. Regardless of motivation, set yourself up for success.
- Rid your fridge and pantry of temptation
- Making indulgences genuine treats by also making them infrequent (once a month)
- Surround yourself with supportive people
Look at these changes as a gift rather than a punishment.