How to live longer: 5 Foods, drinks, and habits to avoid if you desire longevity



  • We have been hearing about the Mediterranean diet and the Japanese style of living that naturally boosts longevity. After learning all about what to eat and what to do to live a longer and healthier life, we have a grip on the basics.
    Yes, we already know the mantra to good health:
    • Eating a high-quality healthy diet,
    • Exercising at least 150-180 minutes a week,
    It is said that following this regimen adds, on average, 10 years to our life. But rather than commission, let us talk of omission. What is that ‘sinful to health’ practice that I am indulging in now that is going to hamper my prospects of long and healthy life?
    What NOT TO EAT/DRINK to live longer
    1. Excessive consumption of alcohol: Consider this. Binging on alcoholic drinks can increase your chances of getting liver disease, high blood pressure and heart failure. In April 2018, Lancet published the findings of a study titled “Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: combined analysis of individual participant data for 599 912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies”. It found that: Adults drinking seven to 14 drinks per week could expect, on average, a six-month shorter life expectancy as of age 40; Those drinking 14 to 25 drinks per week could expect a shorter life expectancy by one to two years; Those drinking more than 25 drinks per week could expect a shorter life expectancy by four to five years
    2. Regular consumption of processed food: We are not advising against an occasional burger or pasta or pizza… but research published in the BMJ medical journal highlights the fact that there is a link between eating substantially more processed meat, such as bacon and ham, and a raised risk of dying. A big no-no is processed meats like sausages, hot dogs and corned beef. The BMJ study showed that a 10 per cent increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a 12 per cent risk of overall cancer and an 11 per cent risk of breast cancer. These findings add to the strong body of evidence linking poor diet with overweight/obesity and cancer risk.
    3. Sugar consumption: Sugar contains a lot of calories, with no essential nutrients. These ‘empty’ calories can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, dental diseases, liver diseases, etc. Colas, tea, coffee, cakes, ketchup, sauces, etc contain added sugar. Foods with a lower glycemic index are good for you. Eat fruits, instead of drinking juices.
    4. Deep-fried or cholesterol causing foods: French fries and potato chips, etc are very high in calories, and it’s easy to eat excessive amounts. They add to unhealthy weight gain and a spike in unhealthy cholesterol that cannot be rid of later.
    5. Smoking: The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Cigarette smoking causes premature death: Life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for nonsmokers. Quitting smoking before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by about 90%. Overall mortality among both male and female smokers is about three times higher than that among similar people who never smoked. Smoking leads to lung, heart, vascular diseases and several cancers, says CDC.
    Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.


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