Most people are sick and tired of hearing about how eating more fruits vegetables, whole grains and the like are better for their overall health. It seems like just an inconvenience for no immediate benefit, so it is hard to stick to a better diet and eat healthy.
Unfortunately recent studies published have confirmed that over 50% of all deaths associated to diseases like heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes could have all been avoided through changes in diet.
This isn’t just something to be concerned about this, is alarming. Literally millions of deaths a year could be avoided by modifying diet, which is something you need to consider if you want to live a long life.
What Changes Should I Make in My Diet to Increase My Life Span?
1-Reduce the Amount of Sodium in Your Diet
Too much sodium in the diet is the leading cause of many cardiovascular diseases. This is because sodium levels play a critical role in how the kidneys are able to control the volume of blood in our bodies.
If there is too much sodium in the blood, the kidneys can’t remove water which causes an increase in blood volume and an increase in blood pressure. The increase in blood pressure puts additional strain on these blood vessels which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other issues.
One of the best ways to reduce sodium in our diets is to avoid fast food and restaurants in general. Most of the sodium we eat is from dining out or from processed and canned goods. Eat fresh foods when possible and prepare your own meals as well.
2-Increase Your Intake of Omega 3s
Omega 3 fats are essential because our body not only needs them to perform things like the creation of hormones, but because it can’t make these fats on its own. This means that we must get these nutrients from our diet.
Omega 3 fatty acids reduce heart disease, reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, reduces inflammation and improves cardiovascular health.
The best source of omega 3 fatty acids are fatty fish like salmon and sardines. Nuts and seeds are also good sources of omega 3 fatty acids, and are easy to carry around as a snack throughout the day.
Some oils like olive oil are also great sources of omega 3 fats, and can be used in almost any dish.
3-Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Most people know that eating fruits and vegetables are healthy, but they still aren’t eating enough. It is estimated that only 10% of all adults are eating enough of these nutrient rich fruits and vegetables. It is recommended that we get 3 cups of vegetables and 3 cups of fruit daily, which simply isn’t the case for most people.
Fruits and vegetables are great for our health for a multitude of reasons. First they contain antioxidants which are used to fight off all of those diseases listed which can reduce life expectancy overall.
Second they contain plenty of fiber and carbohydrates which helps get us through the day by providing energy, but doesn’t spike our blood sugar levels in doing so because of the high fiber content, reducing the risk of type ii diabetes.
4-Stay Away From Processed Meats
Processed meats which consist of foods like hot dogs, sausage, deli meat, and other cured meats which are packed with preservatives which are linked to colon cancer.
Stay away from these foods that contain nitrates and high levels of sodium. Some stores do carry organic preservative free sausages and hot dogs if you don’t want to give up grilling them this summer.
5-Don’t Use Additional Sugar
Up until very recently it was believed that fat was the main contributor to heart disease, but more recent studies have pointed in the direction of sugars as the culprit.
Consuming too much sugar leads to heart disease, obesity, kidney problems and other issues as well. Sugary drinks are the worst as they are empty calories, and are easy to consume quickly as well. It is easy to get an entire meal’s worth of calories from just one sugary drink.
Sugars are also believed to increase the rate of growth in tumors such as some cancers, all the more reason to avoid additional sugar in foods.