In his book, “Disease Proof”, Dr. David Katz1 lays out for us Ten Rules for Healthy Living. These are guidelines to follow consistently forever in order to Live Longer Better:
1. Avoid fast food: fast food is a fast way to gain weight and undermine your health.
2. Drink water: don’t drink your calories (soft drinks, fruit juices, chocolate milk) but choose water, coffee, or tea instead. Artificial sweeteners in diet sodas will only encourage a sweet tooth so they should also be avoided.
3. Eat salad: enjoy a mixed green salad loaded with nutrients and throw in some colour – radishes, bell peppers, mushrooms, avocado, strawberry, roasted pine nuts topped with a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
4. Exercise daily: this is my number one piece of anti-aging advice. In “Younger Next Year”, Crowley and Lodge admonish us to get at least an hour of vigorous activity six days a week for the rest of our lives! Start with 20 minutes of brisk walking and work up from there.
5. Get enough sleep: adults generally need a consistent eight hours of sleep per night. This helps control your appetite and gives enough energy for exercise. Look up some tips on good sleep hygiene.
6. Mind your mouth: avoid mindless eating while doing something else. Eat only at mealtimes when it is the primary activity.
7. Eat foods in their natural state: avoid processed foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
8. Plan your eating: eat only what you intend to eat, when you intend to eat it. Plan meal and snack times. Don’t wait till you’re famished. Stop when you’ve had enough.
9. Tell others: let your friends and family know about your health goals so they can help you stick to them.
10. Choose what you chew: take wholesome snacks with you and take control of your choices. You will control your weight much better in the kitchen than you will in the gym.
As Laura Shapiro noted in her book, “Something from the Oven”, over the last century “we began the long process of turning over to the food industry many of the decisions about what we eat…Today our staggering rates of obesity and diabetes are testimony to the faith we put in corporations to feed us well. But the food industry is a business, not a parent; it doesn’t care what we eat as long as we’re willing to pay for it. Home cooking these days has far more than sentimental value; it’s a survival skill.”
These simple behavioural changes outlined by Dr. Katz have the power to transform your health and well-being, such that your risk of every major chronic illness including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and dementia is slashed by an astounding 80%!! Take control of your future health today. Make these your resolutions for 2016!
Your partner in Living Longer Better,
Dr. Grant Pagdin, MD
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