We’ve all heard the hype about superfoods and how they can help us to live longer and healthier lives. While they won’t turn us into super heroes, they will contribute to a more active lifestyle and can add many years onto our lifespan. According to Science Daily, over the past few decades, the focus for the leading cause of death has shifted from infectious diseases to conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer.
We all know that studies have shown the risk of developing heart disease or contracting cancer can be greatly reduced by eating a better diet. Recently, researchers studied a control group of older people aged 70 to 79 over a ten-year period who ate a healthier diet compared to those whose diet contained more fat. Those in the “high-fat dairy products” category had a 40% higher risk of mortality than the “healthier foods” group.
It should come as no big shock to anyone that those in the “healthier foods” cluster consumed mostly low-fat dairy products, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish, and vegetables, while cutting back on red meat, fried foods, sweets, high-calorie drinks, and added fat. Meanwhile, the “high-fat dairy products” crowd where chowing down on ice cream, whole milk, cheese and yogurt, with lower intakes of poultry, low-fat dairy products, rice, and pasta.
In a separate sub-section, they also monitored a “sweets and desserts” category that had a 37% higher rate of mortality. Again, this should come as no surprise to most people nowadays, but as they say, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the lack thereof.
In a previous post, we talked about “7 Foods To Protect And Improve Your Eyesight,” and as we continue to age, from a laundry list of different eye issues and problems that occur with our vision, some of these are age-related and research suggests we can deter them with a better diet.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Caused and aggravated by increased sugar levels associated with diabetes, the “sweets and desserts” diners are obviously more susceptible to developing this condition.
- Glaucoma: Although not directly related toaging and there’s no medical evidence to support the fact that this incurable, pressure-related eye disease could be the result of high blood pressure, it can often be found in the more unhealthy, high-fat, meat-eating crowd.
- Macular Degeneration: Blurring vision from this often age-related condition comes from the deterioration of cells found in and near the macula. Often caused by dry eyes, some researchers have suggested that healthy foods that are rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, found in cold water fish oils, can deter this dilemma.
Many of us believe that making small sacrifices will offer big results, but this can sometimes be misleading. Switching from whole milk to 2% for example is a big step, but you’ll get even bigger benefits and results by opting for 1% or even better yet, fat free milk instead. Another dairy dilemma, yogurt seems to offer so many digestive and health benefits, but while it can be low in calories, most brands are still high in fat.
Often it comes down to simple decisions, especially as we age with our dietary choices. The next time you reach for a pint of pistachio ice cream, think instead of just grabbing a handful of the nut itself. Almonds, walnuts, pecans and other shelled favorites are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that boost your eye health and heart health. Skip the high-fat creamy selections and go straight for the gusto of greater health found within better food and dietary choices.