Five Food Secrets for Longevity

By Hunter Boyce, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | January 19th, 2024

Easy and tasty tips from a physician

Five Food Secrets for Longevity: a picture of a variety of healthy food choices

It’s no secret that what we eat matters, and these five food secrets for longevity highlight foods that are tasty and easy to incorporate into a daily diet.

According to Dr. Poonam Desai, a U.S.-based osteopathic physician double board certified in lifestyle medicine and emergency medicine, there are five food secrets that many of the world’s longest living people share. Taking to TikTok, the social media-savvy physician explained that these food secrets have helped elders not just live longer, but live better lives.

Dr. Desai’s food secrets for lonvegity

Number 1

“I personally also try to incorporate [them] into my daily routine,” she told her 23,000 TikTok followers. “The first is going to be maximizing fruits and vegetables — so really aiming for about five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.”

It’s a first dietary step that can have a major impact on health. According to the National Institutes of Health, eating at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduction in mortality.

Number 2

“Number two is going to be a handful of nuts,” Dr. Desai said. “I make sure that the nuts are not packed with sugar, salt and unhealthy oils.”

To gain the health benefits of eating nuts, it only takes a small amount. According to a 2023 study published within the American Society for Nutrition journal, even modest tree nut consumption is associated with a decrease in cardiovascular disease.

Four healthy nuts for your pantry

Number 3

“Number three is going to a cup of beans per day,” she said. “Beans are packed with fiber and protein, and beans can be things like garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lentils, and black beans.”

According to a Healthline report, beans may aid in weight loss as well. Low in calories and high in fiber, beans are a great way to curb your appetite without packing on any extra pounds.

Legumes for life

Number 4

“The fourth is going to be incorporating healthy oils into our regular diet, that includes oils like extra virgin olive oil.”

The American Heart Association reported that adding more than half a tablespoon of olive oil to your daily diet may lover heart disease risk. People that eat more than half a tablespoon of olive oil a day have also been found to experience lower rates of premature death from cardiovascular disease.

Number 5

“The fifth is going to be avoiding processed foods,” Dr. Desai said. “So when you’re hungry — instead of going for the pretzels, chips, cookies, muffins — going for whole foods like broccoli and green beans and whatnot.”

According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, ultra-processed foods are often mass produced with low-cost ingredients to ensure profitability. These foods tend to be low in fiber and other nutrients, despite potentially comprising up to 60% of the calories in many U.S. diets.

How to spot ultra-processed foods

©2024 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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