The secret to a long life is not stashed away and hidden in a drug or a scientific experiment; it's all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle from the inside out.
Everyone claims to have a secret to extending your lifespan, sometimes an unlikely one — a daily cup of coffee, some cocktails, or even bacon — but the best way to live a long, healthy life, most authorities agree, is by consuming lots of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
It may not seem like it, but your food choices now will have tangible effects on your future, both in how long you live and how healthy you are along the way.
People all over the world live long lives, and while some of this can be attributed to fantastic genes, the common thread in this phenomenon is healthy eating, meaning a strong focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. There are no shortcuts or tricks to a long life; you just have to be willing to practice good eating now to set yourself up for success in the future.
While fad diets and extreme dieting may help you lose weight in the short term, the most dieters eventually gain back the weight and these diets may actually shorten your life span. The average American tries out about a few fad diets a year and 25 percent give up within two weeks. Those who keep going end up quitting their diet and gaining back weight after five years. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and limited amounts of meat will help you live a longer life.
The key to longevity is moderation. Increase your intake of vegetables, fruits, and fiber (whole grains, legumes, and leafy greens), and cut down on the meat. This style of healthy living may help you lose weight, which can also add a few years to your life.
Take care of yourself now and see the benefits in years to come.
Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.