Many people have become advocates of organic and natural foods, knowing that these foods are healthier than those that are commercially processed, vitamin enriched, and laced with antibiotics and other drugs. What many may not realize, however, is that the amount of foods consumed, even whole and natural ones, is even more important for longevity and better health.
Studies recently made in the research departments of some major American universities have found that by consuming 20 to 30% less calories per day, a person may actually add between 10 to 15 additional years to his or her life. Aside from this revelation, it has also been found that even those who consume what some may consider as non-wholesome foods (including “junk foods”) this overall reduction in total calories is still basically the same. Using laboratory rats, and feeding the control group a standard diet, it was found that those given less food actually lived longer, even though they may have been smaller and thinner than the control group.
It’s no secret the people who are overweight have more health problems including cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, and incidents of colon and other cancers, Thinner people are generally healthier and have a more positive mental outlook, which also affects their longevity. Taking these findings into account, this does not mean that people who are “super thin” will live longer. Those suffering from eating disorders, including anorexia are damaging their health by not consuming enough calories.
Types of food consumed, particularly diets with less red meat and dairy products, also help influence longevity, as well as a person’s genealogical makeup. People coming from families with longer life spans are more likely to live longer than those from families with shorter life spans. A diet of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit is much more beneficial that a diet consisting of fatty and starchy foods, including most dairy products.
In many Western countries, including the USA, far too much fatty and starchy foods are consumed as against more wholesome diets of less, but more whole grain and other wholesome foods. Diet is not the only factor however, as daily exercise of at least half an hour will help people maintain more healthier lives. This exercise can include a brisk walk around the block, or even inside a shopping mall. The most crucial factor, according to the aforementioned studies, is that by simply exercising one’s “table muscles” to leave the dinner table before too many calories are consumed will eventually work wonders toward maintaining better health.
All in all, it’s not only the old saying “you are what you eat”, but how much you eat as far as the deciding factor that may add longer and more productive years to your life.