Eat well, die young

Need some motivation to stick with a healthy lifestyle? Consider this. Metlife, the insurance company, has research that shows if you reach age 65, your life expectancy is 85. That means the odds of living beyond 85 are 50%. The research also shows that one in four members of a 65-year-old couple will live to an astounding 97 years old.

Now consider that without a healthy lifestyle 20%-40% of people over 85 can look forward to living their last 10 years in dependency. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease take a heavy toll on our older population. What can you do to avoid being one of the ones to suffer?

The answer is the Mediterranean Diet and life-style. Building your diet around eating fruits & vegetables, breads, cereals, beans and nuts and integrating regular aerobic exercise into your daily routine can greatly reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, a 1993 study Harvard University study suggests that the Mediterranean Diet and life-style can reduce your chances of suffering from all chronic diseases.

A big part of the Mediterranean Diet’s success may attributable to the reduction of saturated fats in favor of monounsaturated fat like that found in olive oil. Eating fish a few times per week increases your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to help reduce your risk of chronic disease.

Exercise is as important as diet. Try to make exercise part of your routine rather than something you do only when you have time. Every bit helps. Park your car further from the store and use the stairs. Rake your leaves rather than use a leaf blower. Of course you need to consult your doctor before you start any exercise program.

The Mediterranean Diet and life-style can help you live longer and to get more out of the years you’re given. What are you waiting for? Start today.