Saturday, February 9, 2013

Living Long and Healthy

Who doesn't want to live a long healthy life? Billions of dollars are spent in the U.S.on all things pertaining and relating to living long and healthy.For most,but not all,running is what we believe is a means to staying healthy.
I have also noticed that people adopt certain types of eating and diets in hopes of remaining healthy,vigorous and active well into what some call their "golden years." As one who has studied health and nutrition for about 40 years I have come to two conclusions on the subject of diet and nutrition.
1.Be cautious of the person,author, or health "expert" that is advocating a certain way of eating. Recognize that their livelihood depends on what they are advocating.By this I mean, would someone who has made money from book sales and seminars advocating a particular type of diet be willing to admit they were wrong if evidence came out to the contrary debunking their claims? I personally have never seen this happen. Actually,I've read of instances where some "experts" promoted one style of eating but didn't adhere to it themselves. This is a personal thing with me and may not be relevant but I always look at how the health advocate looks. For instance,you say you've been a "raw-fooder" for 25 years,then how come you look like anything but the picture of health? Perhaps I digress.
2.This is important,show me the proof that the diet and/or way of living you advocate is the way to go.Where on this earth are the people who over the generations have lived long and vigorous lives doing what you are advocating. If there aren't any, then you're just speculating brother. A wise man once wrote: calling yourself a preacher or a health expert are about the only two professions where you are not required to provide real credentials.That,is a true statement if there ever was one.
What follows are some findings pertaining to health and longevity backed up with the facts to verify what the person is reporting.I will inject a comment or two,as usual.
"Dr Alexander Leaf,a former professor at the Harvard Medical School, years ago visited three isolated areas of the world--Hunza in Pakistan,Vilcabamba in Ecuador and Abkhazia in the USSR---where men and women routinely live beyond 100. He discovered that these three groups shared several traits:
1.They live in mountains.
2.They are somewhat cut off from the mainstream of modern life.
3.They give high status to the aged and let them participate fully in the community.
4.Their everyday life demands constant endurance activity.
5.They eat lightly,with the diets including little or no meat."
Consider #5. They eat lightly. This is a recurring belief among those who study diet and longevity.Research has found that what some call, systematic undereating prolongs life and vitality.There is no way around the fact that light eating slows physical deterioration. I have referenced this fact on previous occasions when I did posts on Dr Van Aaken.We have been so conditioned to eat to excess that what I just said seems to be an invitation to starve yourself but it isn't.It is however an invitation to consider that you adopt an eat to live mindset rather than a live to eat one.I know fit,healthy older people who eat lightly throughout the day and have a dinner which they enjoy but would be called anything but heavy.You can still enjoy eating and foods while not doing so to excess.I always felt bad for the people I worked with who sat at a desk all day but ate breakfasts and lunches that seemed more suited for what a construction worker should eat.Sadly, their bodies reflected this but the biggest impact of this lifestyle choice will come in the future.
Lastly,notice the comment in #5,little or no meat, one of the biggest falsehoods promoted by some is that a vegetarian diet is a one way ticket to health and longevity.As a vegetarian for decades I can say from my experience that some of the people with the worst kind of eating habits were vegetarians. Many seemed to think that junk and fatty foods were ok if they didn't have any animal in them. I don't think so! The key is the amount of meat we eat,we need much less of it than what most Americans eat.Dr Barry Sears once wrote that you should eat no more meat at one siting then what you can put in the palm of your hand. I would add that you try to get it from organic sources if at all possible.
To close,live life vigorously and with purpose,eat light!


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