Home Health What Should You Cut from Your Diet to Live Longer?

What Should You Cut from Your Diet to Live Longer?

by Bruce Haring

They say you are what you eat. It’s true that your diet has a huge impact on every aspect of your life, from your general, day-to-day health to how long you can expect to live. Of course there’s no guarantee that eating or avoiding certain foods will promote longevity. But some dietary decisions can certainly lay the foundation for a longer, healthier life. So, what should you stay away from, in order to live longer? Here are just a few things

  1. Processed Meats  Some say that any red meat is bad for you and should be eliminated. Certainly, fatty cuts of meat, including beef and pork, can have poor effects on your health. Furthermore, a plant-based diet will provide you with more nutrients and less fat and cholesterol than you’d get being a carnivore. But meat can also have a number of nutritional benefits, if eaten in moderation. If you’re not ready to become a vegetarian just yet, you can start small, by giving up processed meats such as bologna and salami. They’re loaded not only with fat, but salt, sodium nitrates, and other preservatives, chemicals, and unhealthy ingredients. If you’re going to eat red meat, make it something fresh rather than processed, and lean, that won’t cause as much damage to your body and internal organs over time.
  1. Margarine  Everyone knows butter is hardly a health food. Like most dairy products, it’s loaded with fat. But substituting margarine on your toast or in your baking isn’t any better. It’s loaded with trans fats and other unhealthy ingredients. If you do use margarine, be sure to buy a brand without trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils, both of which should be eliminated from your diet entirely. If you choose butter instead, get it without salt and with a lower fat content. You’d be better off checking out healthier substitutes to both, though.
  1. Added Sugars  Sugar, in and of itself, is fine in moderation. However, if you’re at risk for diabetes, you should watch your intake. Even if you’re not at risk, sugar gets converted into fat in your body, and can have a number of other detrimental effects. You don’t need to cut it out of your diet entirely. But restrict yourself to naturally occurring sugars, like those in fruits and vegetables. Eating foods with added sugar, particularly in large quantities, can wreak long-term havoc on your health.
  1. Palm and Coconut Oils  Most fats are somewhat harmful to your health, whether you’re cooking with them directly, or they’re an ingredient in pre-packaged foods. But palm and coconut are perhaps the worst offenders. Both are relatively solid at room temperature; a sure sign that you should stay away. They’re also loaded with saturated fats and can pose serious problems to anyone at risk for heart disease or diabetes. Coconut oil can also have certain health benefits in some cases, but the risks are generally thought to outweigh them. Instead, use olive or canola oil, both of which are much better for you and promote improved heart health.

Living longer is about much more than just your diet. Regular exercise is also a factor, as well as keeping your mind active. Genetics play a significant role, too. Ultimately what you do eat plays a much more significant role in your longevity and well-being than what you don’t. But still, what does and does not appear in your diet are very important to your health, in both the long and short terms. Stay away from the foods that cause harm to your body, and you’re much more likely to live a longer, happier, more fulfilled life.

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