Eating, next to breathing, is perhaps the most intimate way you interact with the world around you. Yet this contact, unlike breathing, is something you consciously control. The decisions you make about when, where, and what you eat make a difference not only in your weight and health but in how fast you age.
Surveys show that the vast majority of Americans know that they should eat more carefully, watching fat and calorie intake, but the overall American diet is getting worse. More Americans are being classified as overweight than ever before. A poor diet—one that is full of saturated fats and trans fats (I explain these terms in detail later) and laden with calories—accelerates ageing. In contrast, a diet rich in nutrients, full of fiber, and low in calories can slow the pace at which you age. The difference between being on a good diet and a bad one can be as much as twenty-four RealAge years. A bad diet can make you as much as twelve years older than the average American, and good dietary choices can make you twelve years younger. If you like to eat—and who doesn't?—learn how to eat right. It will buy you added years of good meals.
When I went to medical school in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I received just two lectures on nutrition. First, we learned about diseases associated with vitamin and mineral deficiencies, diseases that are rare except under starvation conditions. Second, we learned—big surprise!—that eating too many calories caused people to gain weight and that eating too few caused them to lose weight. Discussion over. Fortunately, the two-lesson-view of nutrition is a thing of the past. Increasingly, studies show that the food you choose can greatly affect your rate of ageing and substantially alter your odds of being stricken with arterial disease, cancer, diabetes, and other disorders.
Why did it take us so long to see the diet-health-youth connection? And what made our attitudes change? I attribute the change to what I call the 'industrialized society' paradox. From the 1940s through the 1960s, modern medicine really came to the fore. The discovery of antibiotics and the development of safe vaccines helped us exert control over the infectious diseases that had ravaged earlier generations, and advancements in surgery and internal medicine lowered the rate of other afflictions. Life expectancy increased dramatically. People in the medical community felt a real exuberance, fostering a 'we-can-conquer-any-disease' mentality. As the ravages of some diseases decreased, other medical problems became endemic. Cardiovascular disease and cancer emerged as the new killers, becoming the number one and two causes of death in most affluent and industrialized societies. These diseases did not fit the old model of disease. Suddenly, such issues as diet and nutrition that had been ignored began to provide some intriguing clues.
When researchers began investigating cardiovascular disease, they discovered something interesting. People who lived in rural Greece and Italy, and even Albania—in communities less 'developed' and less affluent than our own—had significantly lower levels of arterial disease. Certain Asian populations also had slower rates of arterial ageing. If we Americans and northern Europeans were so 'advanced,' why were we so afflicted?
Genetics seemed a clear answer. But studies soon showed that genetic background, though having some impact on the onset of arterial ageing and cancer, certainly could not explain the widespread incidence of these diseases. When individuals moved from their rural villages and emigrated to the United States, they developed the same diseases as those around them. The onset of diseases correlated with lifestyle. One of the most important factors seemed to be diet. Researchers learned that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables— one that was full of fiber, nutrients, and fish but that had a minimum of meat, calories, and fats (especially saturated fats and trans fats)—caused a major postponement in the onset of arterial ageing. In this healthy diet, the primary fat consumed is olive oil, a monounsaturated fat that lowers the LDL-to-HDL ratio (discussed later) while decreasing the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Dairy products that are heavy in saturated fats, such as cheese, are consumed in small amounts. These food choices were found in the diets of the Mediterranean region and throughout Asia, and they seemed to correlate with long and healthy lives.
Within the past two decades, medicine and American society have changed. These nutrition studies have been well publicized, and most of us now know that cutting back on fats and boosting vegetable and whole-grain consumption will help us stay healthy longer.
(THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH GOOD ORGANIC COW OR GOAT MILK; SO WITH ORGANIC BUTTER; SO WITH ORGANIC CHEESE; SO WITH ORGANIC YOGURT - ALL IN MODERATION OF COURSE. BUT HAVING THEM AS PART OF YOUR REGULAR DIET WILL NOT AGE YOU, WHEN THE REST OF YOUR DIET IS ALSO IN BALANCE - FRUITS, VEGETABLES, PROTEIN - Keith Hunt)
But knowing we should eat healthier and actually doing so are two different things. What guidelines should you follow?
Eat Your Way to Youth?
Many people have a little goblin in their heads that says, 'If it's good for you, it will taste bad.' This is simply not true. You can eat your way to youth and do so deliciously. All it takes is a commitment, which starts with exorcising all those unhealthy ideas about diets.
Eating should be fun. If your diet is like a prison sentence, you will only end up breaking out. Eat sensibly and reasonably. If once in a while you eat something that's not 100 percent healthy, it's not the end of the world. What's important are general habits, not obsessive compliance. How can you eat for youth without sacrificing good taste?
With eating and weight loss, no quick fixes exist. There are only long-term methods. The best eaters—and the ones most likely to have young RealAges because of their food choices—are those who love to eat and who see healthy, tasty eating as a challenge. Become a food connoisseur, searching out the best and freshest ingredients while expanding your food horizons. Along the way, you might be surprised to find that the best-tasting food is often the healthiest food. Now let's consider twenty things you need to know to eat right, so you can shed pounds and years deliciously.
1. Eat a Nutrient Rich, Calorie Poor Diet
Did you know that it takes at least twenty minutes to work off the calories you can eat in about thirty seconds? I'm not talking french fries, but healthy foods like bananas or apples. Whenever you eat, make every calorie count toward getting younger. Make sure the food you eat is full of the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and fiber you need to stay young. Too many Americans waste their meals on empty calories. We end up devouring foods that contain lots of sugar, fats, empty (few nutrients) carbohydrates, and calories without getting the nutrition we need.
As you get older, your dietary requirements change. As you hit middle age, muscle mass declines, as much as 5 percent per decade, contributing to a slowing of metabolism of as much as 30 percent. This change in your body composition increases the ratio of fat to muscle and decreases bone density. As your calendar age increases, you need to be even more careful to eat less fat and fewer calories. At the same time, you need to be even more vigilant about getting the right nutrients. Medications and certain diseases can affect the rate at which you absorb nutrients and your appetite. Some studies find that as many as 60 percent of older individuals have some kind of dietary deficiency.
(SINCE THE AGE OF 40 MY METABOLISM CHANGED - COULD NOT CONSUME AS MUCH FOOD, THE GOOD HEALTHY FOOD I WAS LIVING ON, WITHOUT GAINING WEIGHT - A CUT BACK WAS NEEDED. AT ABOUT AGE 60 IT WAS EVEN MORE SO. HENCE BECAUSE MY FOOD INTAKE IS MUCH LESS THAN BEFORE, I TAKE VITAMIN AND MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS. AND I MAKE SURE I GET LOTS OF EXERCISE - Keith Hunt)
2. Eat Less Fat, Eat the Right Fats, and Time Them Right
There is clear evidence that eating a diet that is low in fats, particularly saturated fats and trans fats, can help prevent arterial ageing while reducing the risk of plaque buildup, heart attacks, and strokes. Although the evidence is controversial and definitive studies are lacking, such a diet also appears to slow the immune system ageing that is linked to cancer. Estimates run the gamut, with experts claiming that 10-70 percent of all cancers stem from eating a diet high in saturated fats and trans fats and low in fruits and vegetables. A report in the Journal of the American Cancer Institute said that women who ate more than 10 grams of saturated fats a day had a 20 percent greater risk of ovarian cancer. Consuming red meat more than once a week has also been linked to increased ageing from colon cancer, presumably because of the saturated fats contained in red meat.
(NO, NOTHING WRONG WITH CLEAN MEATS [GOD'S LAW OF CLEAN AND UN-CLEAN], IF ORGANIC. EVEN 3 OR 4 TIMES A WEEK - Keith Hunt]
By limiting your consumption of saturated fats and trans fats, you limit your risk of ageing. Stay away from fried foods and don't eat fried fast foods. Be careful about eating too much salad dressing: most contain lots of saturated fats. Try to eat red meat no more than once a week. When eating beef or pork, [ no pork - its un-clean in God's law - Keith Hunt] choose low-fat cuts. For beef, choose 'round' or loin cuts....Avoid all processed meats, such as frankfurters, salami, and other luncheon meats. Stay away from anything containing palm or coconut oil, as these are saturated fats. Dairy products low in fats include fat-free milk, fat-free yogurt, and cottage cheese.
(THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN IN 2000. TODAY'S FACTS SHOW NOTHING WRONG WITH SATURATED FATS. COCONUT OIL IS NOW PROVED VERY HEALTHY FOR YOU. THE IDEA OF "FAT FREE" MILK, YOGURT, CHEESE, IS WAY WRONG AND OUT OF DATE. OUR GRANDPARENTS AND GREAT-GRANDPARENTS ATE NATURAL ORGANIC MILK, YOGURT, CHEESE. ALL VERY HEALTHY FOR YOU IN MODERATION OF COURSE - Keith Hunt)
There are several kinds of fats, and knowing which ones to avoid, which ones to eat, and when to eat them can make a big difference in how they affect your rate of ageing. In fact, this topic is so important, I have devoted an entire section of the chapter to it (pp.191-195).
(AND IF HE HARPS ON ABOUT SATURATED FATS BEING BAD, HE WAS VERY WRONG; NOW PROVED IT IS TRANS-FATS THAT ARE YOUR ENEMY. NATURAL FATS IN ORGANIC MILK AND ITS PRODUCTS ARE JUST FINE. COCONUT OIL IS ONE OF THE VERY BEST OILS YOU CAN USE - Keith Hunt)
3. Keep a Steady Weight
Clearly not all of us are or can be pencil thin. The point is to be the right weight for you. Your aim should be to keep your weight as close to your weight at age eighteen for women or twenty-one for men. Having a low body mass index—or weight-to-height ratio—is one of the things that will help keep you young. Studies of animals have shown that restricting calorie intake can increase longevity. For example, mice that were fed a low-calorie, low-fat diet lived considerably longer than mice fed a more high-calorie, high-fat diet. Low-fat eating, in combination with exercise, is the easiest and quickest way to lose weight and to keep your weight where it should be. The most important point is this: Moderation and balance are the key principles when it comes to eating for youth. Avoid yo-yo weight loss and gain—this is worse for you than simply being overweight. We don't know why, but the data repeatedly confirm this finding. For more information on weight and ageing, see the section on Slimming Down later in this chapter.
4. Diversify Your Diet
Everyone thinks he or she eats a balanced diet, but it's not so. Forty percent of Americans don't eat fruit daily, even though it is recommended that a person eat four servings every day. And 30 percent of Americans don't consume any dairy products regularly. On average, Americans get less than half the 25 to 30 grams of fiber they need a day.
Why is diversity in your diet so important? Choosing a diverse diet can lower your RealAge. If you eat items from all five food groups daily, you can be as much as five years younger than if you eat from only two food groups. (The five groups are breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats and other proteins). It is also important not just to choose one thing from each food group but to eat diversely within each food group. For example, some vegetables contain lots of one nutrient and virtually none of another. Try to eat four servings of fruit, five servings of vegetables, and six servings of breads, cereals, or grains a day. These amounts will give you the vitamins and fiber you need without excess calories. Eat two or three servings of low-fat dairy foods and no more than two servings of protein—nuts, beans, meats, fish, or poultry—daily.
(Wrong on "low fat" dairy once more. Within your normal metabolism, mainly when young, yes you can and should eat as suggested. I certainly did up to age 40, and never gained an ounce. But you may have to adjust even at any age for some, if weight gaining is a problem - Keith Hunt)
5. Eat Your Vegetables
One of the tricks to eating a diet that is low in fat, low in calories, and full of nutrients is to eat lots of vegetables. Since they contain lots of fiber, vegetables help you fill up fast. With only twenty to forty calories a serving, they help you feel full and keep your weight down. They also have loads of vitamins, carotenoids, and flavonoids, many of which have antioxidant properties that will help keep you young. Try to eat five or six servings a day.
Just because you hated vegetables as a kid doesn't mean you won't like them now. Try steaming them with a little lemon juice or lightly sauteing them. Cook green vegetables just until they turn bright green. If they go all the way to gray, you've cooked them way too long. Try to eat some kind of dark green leafy vegetable and one serving of a cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage) each day. Remember, too: Yellow, orange, and red vegetables contain essential vitamins and lots of carotenoids, which are natural antioxidants.
Make vegetables your new snack foods. I buy bags of precut baby carrots and other vegetables and keep them in the refrigerator. When I'm looking around for something to munch on, I start there. Cucumbers, celery, peppers, radishes ....all make great snacks. Eaten raw, they keep all the nutrients and fiber that cooking can deplete.
(If you can eat them raw fine, good. I personally could only eat carrots and peas raw - Keith Hunt)
6. Don't Forget the Fruit
The lengthening of the average life span in America has paralleled the availability of fresh fruits. This is a correlation, not a proven cause-and-effect relationship, but the data suggest that increased fruit consumption may contribute to longevity. Fruits are rich in vitamins and dietary fiber and are loaded with carotenoids and other nutrients.
Carotenoids are vitamin-like substances found in many fruits and vegetables. Over six hundred different types of carotenoids are found in foods, the best known being beta carotene, a substance the body turns into vitamin A (see Chapter 7). For a long time, scientists did not know whether most carotenoids had any nutritional benefit, but it is increasingly clear that many of them have antioxidant—and, hence, antiageing—properties. You can spot carotenoids by the red, orange, and yellow color they impart to foods, such as tomatoes, carrots, and apricots—basically any fruit or vegetable with these hues. Also, carotenoids are plentiful in dark, leafy, green vegetables—spinach, broccoli, kale. Lycopene, a carotenoid found mainly in tomatoes, helps prevent prostate cancer (see Chapter 5). Carotenoids are one of the reasons eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help keep you young. Flavonoids are also present in fruits.
Like carotenoids, flavonoids are an antioxidant found in plants and help protect the body against damage from free radicals. One reason red wine has an antiageing effect is because it is rich in flavonoids. The richest sources of flavonoids are onions, green tea, cranberries, broccoli, celery, apples, and grapes. So flavonoids are another reason a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help you stay young.
Because most fruits have only thirty-five to sixty calories a serving, they are low-cal alternatives to cookies or candy. Dried fruits contain considerably more calories per mouthful, so be careful. If you are tired of common fruits, such as apples, oranges, and bananas, then diversify. Buy exotic or seasonal fruits. I find it easier to have such bite-size fruits to munch on as grapes, cherries, or small plums. I keep a big fruit bowl in my office. That way, I can grab a piece when I feel hungry, and everyone else in my department can grab a piece, too.
When eating fruit, remember to wash it well but keep the peel on. If you peel an apple or pear, you are throwing away all the fiber. Juices don't have the same fiber content as whole fruit. Although drinking fruit juice provides one or two servings a day, don't make these your only servings of fruit. Try to eat two or three pieces of whole fruit a day and make one of them a citrus fruit. It will give you the added vitamin C that you need to prevent immune system ageing (see Chapter 5).
(NOW it is proved that BLUEBERRIES are one of the very best fruits you can eat, if not THE best. As mentioned this book of 2000 is out of date on some things; a reason it is no longer in print - Keith Hunt)
7. Fruits + Vegetables = Fiber
A key reason that diets high in fruits, vegetables, and grains are good for you is that these foods contain lots of fiber. People who eat diets high in fiber have significantly lower rates of ageing. Eating 25 grams or more of fiber a day can lower a person's RealAge by as much as three years, compared with eating only 12 grams of fiber a day, the national average.
Fiber is found solely in plant foods and is largely indigestible, passing through the digestive tract intact. Since it cannot be digested, fiber contains no calories, but it makes you feel full sooner and helps you control overeating. Fiber seems necessary to keep the digestive tract running smoothly. High-fiber diets speed up digestive processes, adding bulk to stool and helping the body rid itself of waste products more quickly. Thus the exposure time, in the bowel, of potentially carcinogenic substances found in food is significantly reduced. This shorter exposure time appears to help reduce ageing from intestinal disorders and from heart disease. High-fiber diets also correlate with a reduction in colon cancer and probably other cancers as well. For example, one study found a connection between low-fat, high-fiber diets and reduced blood oestrogen levels in women, possibly helping to explain why women on such diets have a lower incidence of breast cancer. In a study of forty-three thousand participants conducted at Northwestern University, a 10-gram increase in the daily intake of cereal fiber decreased the risk of heart attack by 29 percent (making a fifty-five-year-old's RealAge 1.9 years younger). People who eat less fiber also tend to have worse overall diets and to be more sedentary.
Fiber helps regulate metabolism and digestion, stabilizing blood glucose levels and affecting the rate of absorption of nutrients. Fiber clearly helps reduce the risk of diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease, both of which cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. A high-fiber diet also helps reduce the incidence of hemorrhoids, a condition that can be provoked by excess pressure on the bowel walls caused by the forced bowel movements that often accompany a low-fiber diet.
Don't go on a high-fiber diet all at once. Increase your fiber intake gradually. Make sure to drink lots of water, as fiber tends to absorb water. Eat breads and cereals that have whole grains in them. Even healthy-sounding breads made of 'wheat flour' have had their fiber removed by the refinement process. Check the labels on processed foods, which are now required to indicate the overall fiber content.
(DRINKING LOTS OF WATER IS ALSO NOW OUT OF DATE; YOU KNOW THIS "6 TO 8 GLASSES OF WATER DAILY" TALK - OUT OF DATE NOW. IT IS LIQUID THAT YOUR BODY NEEDS, AND THAT CAN COME IN MANY FORMS. ALSO YOUR BODY TELLS YOU WHEN LIQUID IS NEEDED; HENCE IN THE HOT SUN MORE WATER IS NEEDED, AND WATER IS IN THAT SITUATION THE VERY BEST THIRST QUENCHER - Keith Hunt)
8. Watch Excess Protein Consumption
There is much debate about how much protein we should eat. Recently, some nutritionists have advocated high-protein diets. Unless you consume lots of dairy products as a counterbalance, meat proteins can leach calcium from your bones. A high-protein diet places undue strain on your kidneys, which excrete metabolized proteins. Your body uses only the amount of protein it can consume, and much of the excess must be excreted (some excess is turned into sugars and fat). Studies have shown that excess protein consumption does not promote health, weight loss, or the building of muscles.
Although the average American diet consists of 100 grams of protein a day, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is only half that amount. I recommend restricting protein intake to 20 percent of your daily total calories. Protein content is highest in meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, soybeans, and nuts, all of which have a protein content of 15—40 percent of their total caloric content. Beans, cereals, lentils, and peas have a protein content under 15 percent. Limit your intake of fish, meat, and poultry to five to seven ounces a day (an ounce is 31.1 grams). Since these foods contain only about 40 percent protein, eating this amount will give you plenty of protein without overloading.
If you are getting your protein entirely from vegetable sources, it is important that you choose from a wide array of foods to ensure you get all the essential amino acids. For example, breads and grain cereals lack certain amino acids, and lentils and nuts may have those amino acids but lack others. If you are a strict vegetarian, you should talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about balancing your protein intake. Generally, protein deficiencies are rare in this country.
(A balanced protein would be to have a little for lunch and supper dinner. Protein is in whole milk, so something like whole milk and whole grain cereal in the morning, with maybe some blueberries and banana added, would be a great breakfast meal. I have 100 percent whole oats, whole milk, banana and/or blueberries for breakfast. I was drinking way too much natural fruit juices all day. My doctor said I was too high in sugar [yes fruit contains natural sugar] and told me to cut back to only one glass of natural organic fruit juice per say - it solved the problem - Keith Hunt)
9. Remember, Carbohydrates Were Meant to Be Complex
In a well-balanced diet, 50-60 percent of daily caloric intake should come from carbohydrates—preferably complex carbohydrates. Two basic types of carbohydrates exist: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are the sugars—both refined sugars and those found in honey and many fruits. Complex carbohydrates—the kind found in cereals, breads, pasta, vegetables, beans, legumes, and some fruits—are starches that the body breaks down into simple sugars. This leads to two obvious questions: If complex carbohydrates break down into simple sugars, why are they any different from the simple carbohydrates found in sugars? Don't they provide the same amount of energy?
Yes and no. They do provide the same amount of calories per sugar molecule and the same amount of energy. Most complex carbohydrates are found in foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients and high in fiber. The body treats complex carbohydrates differently. They break down more slowly, consuming more metabolic energy in digestion and keeping glucose levels more stable. Since they are not concentrated in form as refined sugars usually are, we eat less complex carbohydrates per ounce of food.
Forget those old diet myths that breads and pasta are fattening. Carbohydrates contain far fewer calories per gram than fats: 4 per gram as opposed to 9 per gram. Eating a diet high in complex carbohydrates—fruits, vegetables, and grains—will help you shed excess pounds and gain extra years of youth.
(INDEED SO. THE LATEST IDEA WITH BOOKS LIKE "WHEAT BELLY" ARE WAY WRONG FOR THE NATURAL METABOLISM BODY. EVERYTHING NORMAL, THERE IS NOTHING BUT GOOD STUFF IN ORGANIC WHEAT, EVEN MORE SO IN ORGANIC BARLEY. YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN IMBALANCE IN YOUR BODY TO STOP EATING HEALTHY WHOLE GRAINS. GOD GAVE TO ANCIENT ISRAEL TWO FIRST HARVESTS - BARLEY WAS FIRST [THE BEST NUTRITION; WHEAT WAS SECOND, THE SECOND BEST]. I HAVE A LITTLE BOOK ON THE SCIENCE OF BARLEY - IT IS AMAZING HOW NUTRITIOUS BARLEY IS. IT'S HARD TO FIND 100 PERCENT BARLEY LOAVES, SO MAKE YOUR OWN - Keith Hunt)
Vegetarianism: Pro or Con?
Only about 5 percent of Americans classify themselves as full-time vegetarians, but increasingly the health conscious are choosing vegetarianusqee diets. Many people have eliminated red meat from their diets, and more are choosing to eliminate poultry and fish as well. This choice may be a good thing. Study after study has shown that a diet low in animal protein and rich in fruits and vegetables does the most to keep a person young. Decreasing the consumption of red meat to once a week or less reduces ageing of both the cardiovascular and immune systems. However, vegetarians need to be careful. They run the risk of not getting the appropriate variety of foods, thereby missing out on proteins and nutrients that are more plentiful in animal products. Anyone who adopts such food choices will need to supplement his or her diet with vitamin B12, which is obtained almost exclusively from animal products. If you do not eat any animal products, make sure to take a vitamin containing adequate amounts of folate, B6, and B12 daily. If you decide to go on a vegetarian diet, I suggest meeting with a nutritionist to go over a sensible food choice plan.
(IF MEATS ARE ORGANIC AND CLEAN UNDER GOD'S LAW, THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR IN EATING THREE OR FOUR MEATS A WEEK. ANCIENT ISRAEL PRIESTS WHEN ON DUTY IN THE TEMPLE ATE MEAT EVERY DAY - IT WAS PURE ORGANIC. I DO NOT HAVE A SOURSE FOR ORGANIC MEATS, SO I EAT LITTLE, HENCE VITAMIN B12 AND B6 I TAKE DAILY - Keith Hunt)
10. Cut Out Excess Sugars
Although the consumption of sugar is not tied to ageing itself, it is linked to weight gain. Simple sugars tend to be more concentrated in foods, meaning that you consume more calories per mouthful. Cutting back on overall sugar intake is a quick and easy way to make extra calories disappear from your diet. Some people think that eating too much sugar is associated with the development of diabetes; this is not true. However, foods containing lots of refined sugar are high in calories, and most of these calories are nutritionally empty. Don't
[If you eat a little fat prior to eating carbohydrates, your stomach doesn't empty its contents into the intestine as quickly. This slowing of stomach emptying has two RealAge Age Reduction effects. First, you feel full faster and stay full longer, so you eat less; and second, since sugars are largely absorbed in the intestine, the amount of sugar in the blood rises slower and peaks at a lower level]
delude yourself: honey and natural sugars are not a healthy substitute for white sugar. In the end, the body breaks them down into the same molecule, and they contain the same number of calories. Finally, though it is not true in all cases, many people find that a diet low in sugar can help provide a more stable blood glucose level. Eating sugar in large doses tends to cause peaks in a person's metabolic level. Eating a little fat first will slow the emptying of the stomach into the intestine, which keeps your stomach fuller and stabilizes your blood sugar levels, so you feel full and eat less. Furthermore, since sugars are largely absorbed in the intestine, delaying the sugar getting to the intestine slows and decreases the rise in the sugar level in the blood (see Figure 8.1). Lots of people find that eating less sugar gives them more energy without after-the-big-meal sleepiness.
(WRONG ON HONEY - GOOD ORGANIC HONEY IS GOOD FOR YOU - CONTAINS ALL KINDS OF THINGS HEALTHY FOR YOUR BODY - THE BIBLE TELLS YOU SO IN THE BOOK OF PROVERBS. USE PURE ORGANIC HONEY AS YOUR SWEETENER, BUT AGAIN LIKE EVERYTHING, IN MODERATION - Keith Hunt)
11. Eat Fish
Salmon; white fish, such as cod; and other fish contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that actually reduces triglyceride levels in the blood and appears to lower blood pressure. Eating fish at least once a week may cut the risk of heart attack in half, making the RealAge of a fifty-five-year-old man more than 2.7 years younger. Although no one knows precisely how omega-3 fatty acids work to prevent heart attacks, some experts believe that these substances prevent the buildup of plaque along arterial walls. Others suggest that omega-3s help stabilize a person's heartbeat, cutting down on the irregular heart rhythms associated with heart attacks. Omega-3s also appear to make platelets less sticky, decreasing the risk of clotting. Recent data showed a 52 percent decrease in sudden death when fish was consumed at least once a week. Omega-3s may also reduce blood pressure. Although you can buy fish-oil supplements at the health-food store, it's best to eat fish itself.
Finally, be careful about eating raw seafood, which is more likely to carry disease-causing germs than cooked seafood.
12. Make Substitutions
Eating habits learned over a lifetime can be hard to break. Learn how to substitute healthy ingredients into recipes that have always been unhealthy. When a recipe calls for butter, ask yourself, 'Does the recipe really need all that saturated fat? Could I use something else? Could I substitute orange juice and ginger? What about a teaspoon of olive oil?' Garlic, ginger, vinegar, and spicy ingredients can often make up for the lack of saturated fat in a dish. My mother used to make mashed potatoes with lots of milk and butter, but I roast a head of garlic and mix the cloves in with the potatoes while mashing them. Roasting gives the garlic a mellow flavor, and the individual cloves take on the consistency of butter. Fruit butters, such as apple butter, contain no fats and are a good substitute for real butter. Use them as a spread for bread or mix them in with other foods.
(AGAIN THIS IDEA ABOUT "BUTTER" IS OFF THE MARK TODAY. GOOD ORGANIC BUTTER IN MODERATION IS GOOD FOR YOU - Keith Hunt)
If you're roasting a chicken or other meat, put it on a rack so all the fat drips down. Cook tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar and add some spices and herbs to make a tasty sauce for everything from chicken breasts to eggplant to pasta. Baste your meats with fruit juice, not drippings from the pan. Make sauces out of vegetable purees or wine instead of cream. Soups can be just as creamy when you substitute potato-chicken broth puree for the cups of whipping cream. Every time you use a recipe that calls for saturated fats or trans fats, ask yourself, 'How can I cook this so I maximize the nutrients and minimize the fats?'
(AGAIN THERE IS NOTHING EVIL ABOUT SATURATED FATS FROM BUTTER OR CREAM. IT IS THE MODERATE EATING, AND ACCORDING TO YOUR METABOLISM, THAT IS THE KEY - Keith Hunt)
13. Be Aware of Hidden Fats and Calories
Most saturated fats, trans fats, and sugars enter the diet in the form of 'hidden' ingredients in many processed foods, and the package labels may provide the clues you need. For example, many commercial brands of cereal and most processed breads contain a great deal of added fats and sugars. In addition, canned soups and vegetables and even granola are often high in both sugars and saturated fats or trans fats. By becoming a label reader, you won't consume needless calories that you didn't know were there.
Remember, 'fat-free' doesn't mean 'not fattening.' Many 'fat-free' products are good for you and will form part of an Age Reduction diet, but that is not always the case. Fat-free cookies and fat-free ice cream may be 'fat-free,' but they are usually full of calories yet low on nutritional value.
(YES MANY THINGS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR PARTICULAR BODY METABOLISM - Keith Hunt)
14. Cut Back on Cholesterol and Salt
Cut dietary cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg a day (see the cholesterol section later in this chapter). Limit sodium intake to 2,400 mg a day, preferably 1,600 mg or about a teaspoon of salt (see Chapter 7).
15. Eat Regularly Throughout the Day
Many people believe they will lose weight if they starve themselves all day, waiting until dinner to eat, at which time they gorge. This habit adversely affects overall body metabolism. More important, most people cheat, sneaking a cookie here or a candy bar there sometime in the mid-afternoon. Make sure to eat regular meals. Many experts recommend 'grazing'—eating a number of small meals throughout the day, rather than just two or three large ones. That way, your body metabolizes food on a regular basis, not going through long periods without fuel, followed by intense periods of excess. See if eating this way helps you eat more nutritious food and lose weight.
16. Don't Forget the Water
Because your body is approximately 80 percent water, you need lots of fluid (at least eight glasses a day) to keep it running right. Water is best, although juices, soups, and skim milk can also rehydrate you. Make sure you drink extra water to keep yourself properly hydrated, especially if you are exercising or the weather is hot. What's the best kind of water? We don't know. But most experts agree that as long as your town treats its water, tap water is just fine.
(NO MOST TAP WATER IS NOT FINE. GET A FILTER, OR BUY STREAM WATER. YET STREAM WATER MAY BE CONTAMINATED TODAY. FILTERED WATER IS SOLD JUST ABOUT EVERYWHERE TODAY. IT IS A MYTH, NOW PROVEN INCORRECT, THAT YOU SHOULD BE DRINKING 8 GLASSES OF WATER A DAY. YOUR BODY NEEDS FLUID, AND THERE ARE MANY HEALTHY FLUID DRINKS IN STORES TODAY - Keith Hunt)
17. Think 'Healthy' at the Grocery Store
Think about the control you have over your diet when you go shopping for food. If you don't buy food that's bad for you, you won't eat food that's bad for you. Before you put any item in your cart, ask yourself, first, 'Why am I eating this?* And, second, 'Will it help keep me young?' If the answer to the first question is 'Because it's quick,' and the answer to the second question is 'No,' get it out of your cart. Fast!
Become a label reader. Look out for saturated fats and trans fats and see what you can do to buy foods with the most nutrients. Even similar products may have different ingredients. For example, I remember trying to buy a can of refried beans for a Mexican dish. One brand contained partially hydro-genated oil, while another had canola oil, and the third had no oil at all. Although they all looked the same, their calorie and fat content were very different. The first was unhealthy, the second was moderately healthy, and the third was very healthy. If I hadn't bothered to look, I wouldn't have known.
18. Age Proof Your Kitchen
Get rid of staples that will surreptitiously make you age faster than you want. Then make substitutions. Throw out all those cooking implements—ice cream makers and deep-fat fryers—that will entice you to eat foods that age you. Clear out your recipe files, banishing recipes that call for a lot of cream or butter. While you're at it, throw out any take-out menus for places that serve unhealthy food. Keep the menu from the Vietnamese restaurant and toss the one from the fried chicken joint. That way, you won't be tempted.
(CREAM AND BUTTER - ORGANIC IF POSSIBLE - IS GOOD FOR YOU, IF YOU HAVE IT IN MODERATION - Keith Hunt)
19. Don't Let Situations You Can't Control Stop You from Making Smart Food Choices
At home, it is relatively easy to develop a diet plan and stick with it. When you're out on the town it's a different story. Many people find it hard to keep eating right when they go out for meals or have to travel. Learn how to make the situations in which you have less control more manageable for you. For example, when you go out to eat, look for low-fat options on the menu. If you don't see anything, try to modify an existing dish by asking the waiter to have it baked or broiled without fat. Ask to have sauces served on the side, or request that your omelet be made with just egg whites. Most restaurants prove extremely accommodating. (I remember eating in a restaurant with nutrition expert Dr. Jerry Stamler and being amazed at how he changed the menu, asking the chef to modify dishes to suit his dietary requirements.) The answer is usually YES, and the food delicious.
(AGAIN THIS IDEA OF OMLETS JUST FROM EGG WHITES IS WAY OUT OF DATE. GOOD ORGANIC EGGS, ALL THE EGG, IS GOOD FOR YOU - Keith Hunt)
Also, if you're invited to a party and think that everything's going to be calorie laden and heavy, eat before you arrive and then eat less when you get there. Just smile and say, 'It's fabulous but just so filling.' If you travel frequendy on airplanes, pack your own snacks. Or call ahead to see if you can order a special meal. Most airlines offer vegetarian food or heart-healthy selections, and these meals are generally tastier, more nutritious, and lower in saturated fats and trans fats than their usual entrees. Wherever you are, don't hesitate to take a low-fat snack pack with you when you're on the run—at work or at play. It will help you keep the years away.
(OR WITH YOUR MEAL ON A LONG AIRLINE FLIGHT HAVE A GLASS OF RED WINE WITH IT - Keith Hunt)
20. Finally—and Most Important— Make Healthy Eating Fun
You are making changes for a lifetime—changes for a younger lifetime. This shouldn't be hard work. Healthy eating should be part of enjoying all those years of added youth. Buy a low-fat cookbook. Try out a new recipe three nights a week or every Sunday. If you live with someone who shares cooking, make it a game. See who can make the best-tasting low-fat dishes. Be inventive. If you haven't a clue what to do with that funny new vegetable (like kohlrabi), figure something out. Dare to be bold and adventurous. If you always eat a certain style of food, break the mold. Try new options: Thai food, Italian, or vegetarian. Make low-saturated-fat eating an adventure, not a chore.
(AGAIN THIS LOW FAT IDEA IS OUT OF DATE, UNLESS YOUR BODY METABOLISM IS SUCH THAT YOU NEED TO BE ON A LOW FAT DIET - Keith Hunt)
These are general guidelines for Age Reduction eating. It may take a while to adjust to the changes. Stick with it for a couple of months and see how you do. If you have questions regarding serving sizes or the nutrient content of foods, I suggest you buy a nutritional information book. Many good books list the calories and nutrients in a whole range of foods. (I love the tables in Roy L. Walford's The 120-Year Diet, Pocket Books, 1988.) The better informed you are about what you eat, the better food choices you will make, and the younger you will stay.
(GET THE CHARLES ATLAS HEALTH AND STRENGTH COURSE, STILL AVAILABLE. TYPE IN CHARLES ATLAS IN YOUR WEB BROWSER AND UP IT WILL COME. IF YOU HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH BODY METABOLISM, CHARLES ATLAS STILL HAS THE BEST OVERALL TEACHING ON FOODS. AS HE OFTEN SAID, "YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT."
Now let's consider three food concerns we all have and about which you will want more information: fat consumption, cholesterol intake, and weight maintenance.