Sunday, March 12, 2017

What to Eat for a Longer Life

The health headlines this week read:  To Live Longer, Cut Out the Bacon and Soda; Eat More Nuts.   Researchers studied what foods are linked to a longer life and what foods are linked to diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  They found a diet high in processed foods like bacon and high sugar foods like soda shorten your life and a diet high in healthy food choices like nuts leads to a longer life.  The study published in JAMA reviewed diets of 7000,000 Americans who died from heart disease, strokes or diabetes.  They analyzed what they ate or did not eat.  A great research article to focus on during March, National Nutrition Month.

What foods/nutrients to eat to live longer by lessening your chances of a heart attack, stroke or diabetes?
Good” Foods – Eat more of these for a longer life:

  • Nuts – As noted in a number of my blogs, a handful of nuts a day is a Dr. Oz recommendation and a good habit to adapt.  Nuts do have fat in them, but the heart healthy Omega-3 fats.
  • Fruits and Vegetables – USDA recommends 5 A Day or 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  So important not only for vitamins, minerals and fiber but also all the antioxidants fruits and veggies provide.
  • Seafood – another great source of the healthy Omega-3 fats.  Foods like salmon are rich in Omega-3’s.
  • Whole Grains – ditch the white bread and choose some whole grain bread, whole grain crackers like Triscuits, or whole grain cereals like any General Mills cereal.

“Bad” Foods – eat less of these foods:

  • Processed meat – bacon, hot dogs, bologna.  Medical Daily called bacon “Comfort Food” and who doesn’t enjoy some bacon or hot dogs?  However, these foods are a double whammy because they not only have saturated fats, but are also higher in sodium.  
  • Red meat – hamburgers, steak
  • Added sugar drinks – sodas. Data now shows more Americans are buying bottled water than sugared sodas and that is a good trend.
  • Salty foods – hard to avoid salt in our diets, especially if we eat out as so many restaurant and Fast Food items are high in salt.  Start reading labels for “sodium” content of the foods you buy and look up the sodium content of Fast Food items.  They recommend only 2000 mg of sodium a day, but I find that almost an impossible goal as it is so restrictive. But pay more attention to the sodium in the foods you eat. 

So, if you want to live a longer, healthier life, choose more of the “good” foods that promote health and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.


  1. Your health is the outcome of the choices you make in your daily life. If you choose green vegetables and fruits over junk food then you are going to live longer. I have strong belief on a product called Goji Berry Juice. It reduces the aging process of the consumer by 10% if taken on a regular basis.

  2. The JAMA article provides good examples of foods to eat for a longer life. As you note, fruits and vegetables are among the foods noted in the JAMA research article.