The folks at Studyfinds have compiled a lot of information on extending your lifespan and have come up with the Top 8 things you should do right now to live a longer and healthier life.

Helen Bond, the dietician involved in the study says, “Research shows that people who closely follow diets that include a lot of plants, such as the Mediterranean diet, are less likely to develop health problems later on in life, like cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.”

We have all heard about the Mediterranean diet and are not always sure what that mean, is a lot of Italian bread and pasta? No. Is it olives and olive oil, yes? Plus lots of veggies nd fruits with limited amounts of red meat. You will be eating whole foods and lots of fish and chicken.

 

 

 

  • 1. Eat a wide variety of different plant foods

    veggies
    Mom was right, eat your vegetables and lots of them. The study find that most of us are woefully short on our daily vegetable consumption, for most of us we are only getting about 33% of the daily requirements. So, let’s get more veggies on the plate, of course this doesn’t mean you have to live a vegetarian lifestlye to get there, just amp up your greens and other veggies along with your protein to get there.

  • 2. Reel in more oily fish

    salmon
    Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel  are packed with heart healthy Omega 3’s that are good for your heart health. For a lot of folks the thought of eating a tin of sardines is off putting but there are so many great varieties now that you mind one you can stomach, if not, opt for the salmon and try to keep it wild if you can. Otherwise, a daily supplement is recommended.

  • 3. Increase your daily fiber

    breakfast bars

    Fiber is essential and most of think we get a lot more than we actually do. We’re supposed to get up to 30 grams a day but most of us average around 20g’s. To get more fiber in your daily diet the dietician Helen Bond says ” We need to be eating more wholegrain or higher fiber varieties, such as brown rice, oats, whole wheat pasta and whole meal bread,” she explains. “It’s also good to try your hand at some of the less familiar wholegrains available such as quinoa, whole barley, bulgur (cracked) wheat.”

  • 4. Get your 5-a day of fruit and vegetables

    hearth apple
    We already discussed getting more veggies and now we should look at adding more fruit in, we are short on our fruit consumption. On average we get one to two servings of fruit per day and rarely hit all five.  Dietician Bond says, “Studies have shown that people who eat plenty of fruit and veg have a lower risk of developing many diseases, including high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and stroke.”

  • 5. Stash the salt

    salt shaker

    Salt is one of the biggest contributors to heart attacks and strokes because we are consuming well over the recommended daily amount of  six grams per day. That is now more than two teaspoons per day, most of are getting more than double that amount. Keep an eye on the packaging sodium ingredients percentages of your daily requirements and you will see how much hidden salt is in our foods. Dietician Helen Bond also says, all salts are the same whether it’s plain old table salt or Kosher or pink. Watch your intake.

  • 6. Watch your alcohol intake

    tequila

    It’s recommended to not have more than one drink per day, and for some dieticians, that is too much because alcohol is a contributor to all kinds of diseases such as, heart and liver disease, not to mention kidney issues, plus alcohol is high in calories and will contribute to weight gain which is bad for your overall health.  Dietician Helen Bond says keep your alcohol limited to 2 or 3 units per week.

  • 7. Saturated fats and sugary treats

    steaks
    Watch your fat and sugar intake very closely because both lead to weight gain and the possible beginning of type 2 diabetes , swap out the highly saturated fats with unsaturated fats whenever you can, so it’s less of the butters and lards and more  olive oil.  Dietician Bond also says “trim the fat on your meats when you can to save on the saturated fats.” Of course we all know that sugar is hiding everywhere and needs to be limited to small treats. You can have your cake, but keep it to very little slices on very special occasions.

  • 8. Make more homemade meals

    kitchen

    We all love to go out to eat but we also know that restaurants like to add lots of salt and fat and sugar to make food tasty, but that is not going to help us live longer, sadly.
    The last piece of advice from dietician Helen Bond is, “Cooking from scratch as much as possible can help you eat healthily by allowing you to control the amount of fat, salt and sugar you add.”

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