>My personal goal for aging is to stay as healthy as I can. I do this by being disciplined with myself, especially in my eating habits. I have changed a lot in the last few years based on my research on the topic of healthy aging.
What I found in the prevention of many diseases is that you really need to change! And remember that if you have a certain disease in your family such as diabetes or heart disease, you have a greater chance of getting the disease.
There is some good news! You can prevent many diseases by being healthy. That means no smoking and moderate drinking.
The other things that you can do is change your diet.
You may need to focus on lean meats,( and limiting any meat to once a week). I know that it sounds drastic but research has found that people who eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and low fat in general, live longer. It should not be a surprise!
For exercise- variety is also a good thing. Try aerobic and anaerobic, you need to get the heart beating well and the muscles in shape. So do both. I try to get out every day and exercise. Even on my light days where I take a walk and other activities such as shopping, I still do something. Get off the couch and do something every single day of your life.
Learn about the glycemic index.
Foods, especially carbohydrates vary in their ability to stay with you ( make you feel full). Find foods with low glycemic index, so that your sugar levels stay stable.
The following are examples:
Processed foods: Processed, refined, or finely ground foods tend to have a higher glycemic index.
Starches: Different types of starches are absorbed differently. For example, potato starch is absorbed in the bloodstream rather quickly, while Barley and other grains are absorbed more slowly.
Fiber helps too: The more fiber in a food, the harder it is to digest, As a result, the sugar is absorbed more slowly.
Here are some examples of the Glycemic Index of some foods:
Catagory Food Glycemic Index
Beans kidney 33
red lentil 27
Bread white 69
Whole wheat 72
Cereal All bran 54
Corn flakes 83
Puffed rice 90
Shredded wheat 70
Dairy Milk, ice cream 34-38
Fruit apple 38
Grains Barley 22
Brown rice 66
White rice 72
Potatoes instant 86
mashed (white) 72
Snacks Corn chips 72
oatmeal cookie 57
potato chips 56
Sugar Fructose 22
Refined sugar 64
The glycemic index tends to be lower for complex carbohydrates such as grains and fiber content of foods – so eat your grains and fiber to help your bloodstream slowly digest sugar.
Specific complex carbohydrates that you should be eating include root vegetables such as potatoes, beans, grains such as rye and corn, wheat products such as breads and pasta, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Complex carbs provide energy to the body more slowly than simple carbs such as sugars, processed foods and candy!
Taken in part from: The Merck Manual: Home Health Handbook. (2009) West Point, PA. Merck and Company