While there are many differing opinions on what diets are
best for weight loss, there is little debate that what we eat has a significant
impact on our health and well-being.
Dr. Everett Kopp, a former Surgeon General, stated in his 1988 Report on
Nutrition and Health that, "For the two out of three adult Americans who do not
smoke and do not drink excessively, one personal choice seems to influence
long-term health prospects more than any other: what we eat."
And so, this issue of The Age Well will focus on nourishing our
Currently there is strong consensus on the following basic
1. Eat a
diet rich in a variety of foods since
no one food or category of food provides
all our nutritional needs.
"whole foods" as much as possible
which means eating foods that are less
processed and would have been readily
identifiable by your grandmother. Another
way to think about this is to
from the outside aisles of the grocery
store (fresh fruits,
dairy, fish and meats).
consumption of fats, particularly
saturated and trans fats. Substitute with
polyunsaturated fats as well as omega-3
fatty acids (seafood, plant oils
meat consumption and other
animal products (eggs, dairy) and
other plant-based sources
of protein (legumes, nuts and soy
consumption of fruits and
vegetables to 6-8 servings per day.
portion size and calorie intake to
maintain a healthy weight.
as many "superfoods" (foods
considered the most nutritious because
they have been scientifically proven to
have powerful health benefits) as possible
your diet. Check out a list of
"superfoods" on the Age Well Be Well
These basic guidelines facilitate weight loss, lower
cholesterol levels and provide adequate nutrients for your daily needs. At a biochemical level they reduce
oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute both to the aging process and
diseases associated with aging.
These guidelines also improve arterial elasticity, insulin sensitivity,
and blood pressure, helping prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Learning about each of these principles and developing
strategies for incorporating them into your lifestyle is a challenge worth
taking. In addition to improving
longevity, investments in nutritional health will benefit the quality of your
daily life almost immediately.
Benefits include increased energy levels, weight management and a
stronger immune system meaning less susceptibility to colds and
The best way to assess how well you are infusing these
guidelines into your lifestyle is to do a diet recall for at least a few days
and preferably a week. I last did
this exercise myself last summer and was surprised to discover that I wasn't
eating as many fruits and vegetables as I thought or getting enough fiber in my
diet. I made a few simple changes
to get on track.
First, I began monitoring my daily intake of these
foods. I did this by simply
keeping a sheet in the kitchen where I could make tally marks each time I ate a
fruit, vegetable or source of fiber.
It was interesting to see how effective this simple technique worked,
motivating me with very tangible and visible feedback.
Second, I added ground flax seed to my routine. Flax seeds are a wonderful source of
fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
They have a mild nutty flavor and once ground can easily be added to
cereals, yogurts, salads, soups and even baked muffins, cookies and breads. I aim for adding two tablespoons a
day. To get the most benefit from
the omega-3 fatty acids, you must grind the seeds freshly for each serving. This is because the omega-3 fatty acids
are contained in the oils that are expressed when the seeds are ground and this
oil evaporates quickly. It is also
important to keep the seeds fresh by storing them in the freezer.
If you are interested in improving the quality of your life
and enhancing your longevity, enhancing your nutrition is one of the most important
investments you can make. Deciding
what changes to make and figuring out how to best integrate them into your
lifestyle can be challenging. Call
or email us to discover how Age Well Be Well can support your desire to eat
well and age well.