5 Food Tips to Help You Age Well – The New York Times

Small changes in your eating habits can lower your risk for many diseases associated with aging. And the good news is it’s never too late to get started.
Here are five tips to keep in mind →
Avoid processed meat.
A number of studies have found associations between eating a lot of processed meats and poor health.
A Harvard review found that eating one serving a day of processed meats like bacon, sausage and deli meats was associated with a 42 percent higher risk of heart disease and 19 percent increased risk of diabetes.
Other research has implicated processed meats in a higher risk for colon cancer.
Eat blue (and other colors).
While you shouldn’t plan your health around any one “super food,” there’s a lot to be said for eating blueberries. One study found that eating the equivalent of a cup of blueberries a day lowered blood pressure.
Most of us can’t eat a daily cup of blueberries. But the lesson is to add darkly colored fruits and vegetables — blueberries, cherries, spinach and kale — to your diet. They are loaded with nutrients, fiber and carotenoids.
Skip packaged foods.
How do you know if a food is processed? One good indicator is if it comes in a package that has to be ripped open. Think chips, granola bars, junk food, fast food, frozen pizza, etc.
There are, of course, some exceptions to the rule. Some whole, unprocessed foods that are good for you come in packages by necessity. Think nuts, eggs, olive oil and milk to name a few.
Try to live by the one ingredient rule.
If a packaged food contains only one ingredient (ground turkey, for instance) it’s probably a reasonable choice.
What about supplements?
Study after study has seemed to debunk the benefit of taking supplements.
The best advice: Save the money you would spend on them and invest in a new pair of walking shoes, a gym membership or a delicious healthy meal with your family and other loved ones.
All of those are likely to do more for your emotional and physical health than a supplement.
Get more tips for healthy living from Well:
Most Americans consume more sugar than is good for them. To cut back, start small and work your way up to more ambitious goals.
Smarter eating habits start with better knowledge of the things we eat. This guide to food labels can help you make sense of all the numbers and ingredients.
Many teenagers don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Steer them toward healthier choices with these five tips and better family meals.
Are you planning your next getaway? With these simple rules, it will be easy to eat healthfully and pleasurably while on the move.
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