The Best News of 2005: What you can do to be healthier in 2006

December 26, 2005

The Best News of 2005:  What you can do to be healthier in 2006 

 Competency #20  LIFESTYLES OF THE LONG LIVED Reference:  The best literature in 2005 and from the Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter, December 2005. 

 This news is condensed from the best literature in 2005 and from the Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter, December 2005.  (One of many good ones) 

 1.  New food guidelines say:  WHOLE GRAINS.  Breakfast is a great place to start.  If you can start your day with a whole grain breakfast, your metabolic response to lunch is better.  And the data shows that women who eat breakfast end up eating 200 calories a day less and end up being slimmer. 

 2.  EXERCISE makes a huge difference.  You lower your blood sugar.  There is data that shows all levels work.  Even if it’s just on weekends.  Do it: 30 minutes. 

 3.   DASH Diet:  says 3 servings of calcium a day.  Milk, cheese and yogurt.  Try and make it low fat.  Lowers your BP.  You are likely to feel full faster and have less risk for diabetes.  Women probably get a little less PMS.  What's not to like. 

 4.  VITAMIN D.  Makes two national newsletters now.  NO excuses.  This is winter.  You need AT LEAST 1000 additional units a day.  Buy it.  Take it until April. 

 5.  FRUITS AND VEGETABLES make the headlines.  DASH diet again.  There is clear evidence on reduced BP,  reduced CAD,  less cancers, and  probably less arthritis.  9 servings is easy.  A serving is only 1/2 cup.  (1 cup of salad)   Count every day and make it colorful:  Red, orange, green, yellow 

 6.  Be a POPEYE.  The DASH diet wants you to eat veggies.  But SPINACH is a special hit.  The green leafy veggies are so packed with vitamins and antioxidants, that the data now shows reduced Coronary Artery disease (11% for every serving a week of spinach) and Alzheimer's.  To get with the guidelines from the FDA, eating more leafy green spinach, kale, collards, mustard (NOT iceberg lettuce) means adding about 2 cups a week.  You can do it. 

 7.  Popeye's Girl was OLIVE OIL.  Change your fats.  All veggie oil is pretty good.  Olive is a champion.  It hasn't had it's omega threes removed like canola oil has.  Just get rid of animal fats, lard, bacon grease, and TRANS fats. 

 8.  Popeye was a ...SAILOR and sailors eat FISH.   Fish twice a week slows your average mental decline by 13% a year.  That's huge.  By age 80, your brain is still just 77. 

 9.  TRANS FATS are on the label starting 1/1/2006.  Learn to read the label.  And avoid them like the plague.  They are poisons.  Candy bars, junk food machines, Dream Whip, French Fries.  We Americans are eating 9% of our calories from trans fats.  Remember, every candy bar you eat is another tuition payment for your cardiologist's kid in a private college. 

 10.  High FRUCTOSE  Corn Syrup is a NO GO.  There is more and more evidence.  POISON number 2 (after trans fats).  It was cheap.  It's sweet.  Don't do it.

This column is written by Dr. John E. Whitcomb, MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI, (262-7844-5300)