Aging Well: Eating Right for Longevity
Is your diet the key to longevity? Find out why eating right just may mean aging right, too.
While none of these foods is the "Fountain of Youth," including them on a regular basis as part of a balanced diet can reduce the toll time takes on your body.
Nuts are cholesterol-free protein sources, and are worthy substitutes for fatty meats. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that in a group of nearly 35,000 women, those who ate foods rich in vitamin E, including nuts, lowered their risk of having a stroke.
Almonds for their high vitamin E levels; pecans, for their antioxidants; and walnuts, for omega-3s.
- Top breakfast cereals, yogurt, salads, and cooked vegetables with an ounce of chopped nuts.
- Snack on an ounce of whole almonds (about 24) for almost half the vitamin E you need for the day.
- Enjoy a nut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread.
- Concoct a smoothie by blending a medium frozen banana, 1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, and 2 teaspoons sugar (optional).
According to the American Heart Association, fish harbors omega-3 fats that reduce the risk of plaque buildup in your arteries; decrease blood triglyceride (fat) levels; help lower blood pressure; and lessen the odds of sudden death. Fish is a wise protein choice because of its relatively low saturated fat and cholesterol content.
Salmon, sardines, and canned tuna are among the fish with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Have at least two fish meals a week instead of fatty meats.
- Add canned light tuna or canned salmon to salads instead of chicken or cheese.
Olive oil is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and beneficial plant compounds. It's also free of the trans fats found in some margarines and other processed foods, and that's a good thing. A study published in the journal Neurology found that among healthy people 65 and older, the higher the saturated and trans fat intake, the greater the cognitive decline during a six-year period.
The extra virgin variety. A recent report in the Annals of Internal Medicine found extra-virgin olive oil more beneficial than other types for increasing the high-density lipoprotein levels (HDL or good cholesterol) in men.