5 ways to start to eat right and extend your life

Good News Notes:

“Living a longer, healthier life can start with your diet. You could add up to 13 years to your life if you ate few red and processed meats and more fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts, a recent study revealed.

According to the


, the largest gains in longevity were found from eating more legumes, which include beans, peas and lentils; whole grains, which are the entire seed of a plant; and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans and pistachios.
Plant-based diets are 

winning top nutritional honors

. In fact, diet can be as much of a vital sign as blood pressure, temperature and pulse rate, said Dr. David Katz, a specialist in preventive and lifestyle medicine and nutrition who has 

published research

 on how to use food as preventive medicine.
Ready to get healthier? Here are five expert-recommended ways to change your diet for the better.


1. Track your current eating habits

Many of us eat mindlessly, not really understanding all that we put into our mouths. That’s why becoming aware of your real eating habits is the first step, said registered dietitian nutritionist Kathleen Zelman.
“Write down everything you eat for a day and include details such as time, location and other factors that affect your dietary habits,” Zelman said. “Then sit back, take a closer look, and make a plan on how you can do better.”
Don’t try to be perfect when you start to change your diet, she added. “Instead look for small steps that you can sustain. Then do it again next week.”


2. Plan for success

“We eat what surrounds us,” said Dr. Tom Rifai, who teaches a continuing education class on nutrition and metabolic syndrome at Harvard Medical School.
He suggests shifting your food environment — including your home, your work and your car — by planning ahead. Pack healthy lunches and snacks, and don’t forget travel. “Stop at a grocery store before you get to the hotel so you can stock your room like you would stock your home,” he said.


Stocking your pantry with healthy staples you can turn to on a busy night is another way to boost your successful transition to a healthier eating style….”

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