Here are some tips to keep yourself in optimal health as you age.
- Never skip meals: skipping meals will force your body into starvation mode and cause your metabolism to slow down, basically storing whatever calories you eat. Eat smaller meals more frequently.
- Eat a lean protein source with every meal: fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef, cottage cheese and legumes (including soy). The serving size should be about the size of the palm of your hand and the height of a deck of cards.
- Avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates: bread, pasta, white rice, cereals, candy, baked goods, pretzels, sweets, etc. High-glycemic foods will increase blood sugar levels, which increases blood insulin levels, causing the body to store fat.
- Eat three to five servings of fresh vegetables, and one to two servings of fresh fruit every day. Vegetables are an excellent source of phyto-nutrients and fiber. Choose whole fruits, instead of fruit juice because juicing removes the fiber and increases the glycemic index. Avoid corn, potatoes, bananas, dried fruits, and tropical fruits (pineapple, mango, papaya, etc).
- Add healthy fats to your diet: essential omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids are crucial for the prevention of heart disease, arthritis, joint problems and immune system weakness. Good sources include salmon, sardines, almonds, walnuts, avocados, flaxseeds and oils, olive oil, canola oil and fish oil supplements (with EPA/DHA).
- Drink lots of water: drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of pure water daily. Drink one extra glass for every caffeinated beverage and if you exercise.
- Keep alcohol to a minimum: while 4 to 8 ounces of red wine daily provides the best health benefits, more than that increase your health risks! Dry red wine and hard alcohols are low glycemic. Everything in moderation!
- Choose natural products: avoid refined foods, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Avoid fat-free products, which usually make up for a lack of taste by adding artificial ingredients and sugar.
- Take supplements! Studies show reduced calorie diets without supplementation lower metabolism.
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