Three easy ways to eat for a longer life

Living to a ripe old age is all very well, but what we really want is to increase our healthy years, not just our life expectancy.

In a new review from the University of Southern California, scientists have described what they call the “longevity diet.”

Here are the three key findings from the study, which they claim can help you live a longer, healthier life.

1. Aim for a moderate to high intake of unrefined carbohydrates

As carbohydrates are our main source of energy, we need to have a good amount in our diet, in fact, it is recommended that half of our calorie intake comes from carbohydrates. But when it comes to longevity, it’s the unrefined variety that we need to focus on, such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Due to their more complex structure and the fiber they contain, their energy is released slowly in the body, keeping blood sugar levels stable.

To ensure a healthy dose of complex carbs first thing in the morning, start your day with a “healthy carb” shake. Include fruit (berries and bananas work well), vegetables (spinach or other leafy green), some oatmeal, nuts and seeds, then top with milk and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.

2. Eat protein mainly from plant sources

Limiting animal-based proteins in favor of plant-based sources was one of the key findings of the study. If you look at Japan, which has one of the longest average lifespans in the world, they generally follow this pattern of consumption with a diet that contains little red and processed meat, some fish, and a lot of vegetable protein from soy products. .

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Plant proteins you may already have in the fridge include bean sprouts, spinach, sweet corn, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and broccoli. They have more protein than most people realize. You can also buy frozen edamame beans in pods at supermarkets, which are very high in protein and are a great alternative to frozen peas. Other vegetable proteins that we can use in our kitchen to reduce our dependence on meat are beans, lentils or chickpeas, which you can buy in cans or pre-cooked bags. Add them to favorites like bolognese sauce, lasagna, cottage pie, curries and stews. They can also give soups and salads a welcome boost of protein.

3. Plant-based fats should account for about 30% of caloric intake

That’s carbs and protein covered, but what about the other macronutrient, fat? It won’t surprise you to learn that plant-based fats, particularly those found in whole foods like avocados, nuts, and seeds, are especially beneficial. When it comes to bottled oils, choose extra virgin olive oil for dressings and drizzles and a high smoke point, flavorless oil like canola oil for cooking.

The study concluded that about 30 percent of our calories should come from plant-based fat sources for optimal health. If we assume the average person consumes 2,000 calories a day, 30 percent would be 600 calories. To give you an idea of ​​what this looks like in practice, ½ avocado contains 160 calories, 45g of nuts has 275 calories, 1 tablespoon of seeds has 45 calories, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories.

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