Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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The key to living a long and fulfilling life is no real mystery – it just requires commitment and consideration. Nowhere is this dictum more important than in the foods we choose to eat. While eating well may seem easier said than done, it can be surprisingly simple. That’s because simple dietary tweaks can have a sizeable impact on longevity.
Express.co.uk spoke with Dr Aamer Khan, an award-winning doctor, expert in regenerative medicine and founder of Harley Street Skin clinic to understand the simple dietary hacks that can maximise longevity.
He outlined the six most important tips:
Healthy meat comes from healthy livestock
Dr Khan explained: “It seems simple on the face of it – we want to make sure our fish, poultry and meat come from healthy livestock sources.”
Follow this logic through, so think organic and grass-fed for your meat, and fish sourced from the sea and natural rivers, advises Dr Khan.
“Also, it is better for our gut and for the planet if we make sure not to over consume and stick to these guidelines, which are that a portion should not exceed the size of your palm, about 75g.”
Eat carbs in their purest form
There is the rule that low GI carbohydrates are much better for your health than high GI carbs.
The GI is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
According to Dr Khan, eating unprocessed carbohydrates is a must for long-lasting health and you can achieve this by bulking out your diet with colourful fruit and vegetables.
“Those that are in season are healthier as they have not been in cold storage for lengthy periods of time,” he said.
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“Furthermore, you should try to shop organic as these are not exposed to pesticides.”
Control your portion sizes
AS Dr Khan reported, animal studies suggest that a 10-50 percent reduction in calorie intake can increase an individual’s maximum lifespan.
Studies of humans show similar links between low calorie intake and an extended lifespan with a lower likelihood of disease.
“Naturally, calorie restriction helps to reduce excess body weight and belly fat, of which both carry the risk of a shorter lifespan,” says Dr Khan.
Spicing things up
According to Dr Khan, herbs and spices don’t just make your food tastier, but also have a beneficial effect on health and wellness.
“Many have been used for medicinal purposes in the past and there is evidence for their role in combating certain diseases and conditions.”
While you must be careful with how much salt you use, sea salt and Himalayan salt are the best types as they contain a range of minerals that are good for health, adds De Khan.
Top up calcium and magnesium
Calcium is known to be essential for bone health. “However, research also shows it may help protect against cancer, diabetes and heart disease as well as manage blood pressure,” reported Dr Khan.
He added: “It also supports nerve and muscle function and helps with weight loss. Magnesium is essential for the absorption of calcium, so foods rich in both are essential.”
According to Dr Khan, whey protein is a good source of both, as well as sardines, white beans, kidney beans, sesame seeds, greens such as cabbage, kale and broccoli, almonds and goat cheese.
Dr Khan explains: “The magic of this vitamin is that it helps maintain energy levels but also provides neurological protection as some studies show low vitamin B12 levels increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”
As he explained, it’s also involved in the production of healthy red blood cells, maintains a healthy cardiovascular and digestive system and provides protection against certain types of cancer.
“Again sardines contain vitamin B12, also wild mackerel and salmon, grass-fed beef and lamb, feta cheese, cottage cheese and organic free-range chicken eggs,” he said.
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