Balance Your Diet For A Longer Life
Written by Dr. Vivek Mohindra   

No matter what your age, you have the power to change many of the variables that influence how long you live, and how active and vital you feel in your later years. Actions you can take to increase the longivity and more satisfying life span are really quite simple.

Plenty of research suggests that eating healthy foods can help extend your life and improve your health. Studies reveal that a healthy diet can help you sidestep ailments that plague people more as they age, including heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and cataracts. There is no shortage of new and conflicting advice on diet and nutrition. Stick to the basics with more broad-based changes, such as cutting back on meat; eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; and striking a healthy balance between calories in and calories out.

 

Choose fruits and vegetables wisely: Get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. When filling your plate with fruits and vegetables, choose from a full color plate. For even more health benefits, aim for nine servings a day. To get there, choose vegetable soups and vegetable or fruit salads. Sprinkle fruit on breakfast cereal, and select it for snacks or as a sweet end note after meals.

Choose fats wisely: Whenever possible, use monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. Avoid trans fats entirely. Limit saturated fats to less than 7% of daily calories and total fat to 20% to 30% of daily calories.

If you don’t have coronary artery disease, the American Heart Association recommends eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, or mackerel, twice weekly.

Choose carbohydrates wisely: Choose whole-grain foods over those made with refined grains, such as white bread. Look beyond popular choices like whole oats and brown rice to lesser-known whole grains like barley, bulgur, kasha, and quinoa. Limit your intake of white potatoes.

Choosing protein wisely: Emphasize plant sources of protein, such as beans, nuts, and grains, to help you bypass unhealthy fats predominant in animal sources. Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables and eating beans and grains helps you get a full complement of amino acids over the course of a week. Stay away from protein sources high in saturated fat. Favor fish and well-trimmed poultry. If you do eat beef, pick lean cuts.

Don’t char or overcook meat, poultry, or fish — it causes a buildup of carcinogens. Cutting off fat, which causes flames to flare on the grill, can help avoid charring; try gently steaming, or braising these foods in liquid instead. Grilling vegetables is safe, however.

Tip the calorie balance in your favor: Taking in more calories than you burn off adds extra pounds. Burning off more calories than you take in shaves pounds. A moderately active person who gets about 30 minutes of exercise a day needs 15 calories of food for each pound of body weight. To lose a pound a week, you need to lop off about 500 calories a day by becoming more active and eating less.

Turning the tide to lose weight or just holding the line at your current weight can be difficult. Aim for a small change. Trimming 5 to 10 percent of your starting weight is a realistic goal with excellent health benefits, including reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels and lowering the risk for diabetes.

PDI of Ayurveda, 13th Milestone, Raiwala, Rishikesh (Uttrakhand), +91 9756888654 This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it