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Healthy aging is not just about losing or gaining weight but about a holistic approach to living a long, healthy life. It’s about promoting hormonal balance and longevity. The food we eat can directly manage inflammation and balance our hormones, steering the way we age. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of various diets — plant-based, Mediterranean, and low-carb and list some lifestyle changes for longevity.
What are some foods for a healthy diet?
When promoting longevity, these diet plans often take the spotlight:
1. Plant-based diet foods
Such a diet consists of foods derived from plants, such as vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits, with few or no animal products. Research shows that adults should intake at least 1.5 to 2 cup-equivalent fruits and 2-3 cups equivalent of vegetables each day. Additionally, plant-based diets are rich in antioxidants and fiber and help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Did you know? Plant-based foods like Quinoa, Flaxseed, and Avocado have phytonutrients that help manage hormonal balance and improve longevity.
2. Mediterranean diet foods
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by high consumption of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, and whole grains; a moderate intake of fish and poultry; and a low intake of red meat, sugar, and saturated fats. This diet is linked to a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
3. Low-carb diet foods
A low-carb diet has fewer carbohydrates, like those found in grains, starchy vegetables, and legumes. It typically contains high protein, fats, and healthy plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that this diet can lead to weight loss and improved health markers in people with obesity.
4. Paleo diet foods
Also known as the caveman diet, the paleo diet refers to a meal plan during the paleo—or stone age—era. It consists of foods like meats, fish, nuts, eggs, vegetables, and fruits. It eliminates processed foods, added sugars, legumes, grains, dairy products, and other modern-day food items from daily meals.
5. Ketogenic diet foods
Ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is a low-carb, high-fat diet based on a biochemical process called ketosis, where the body starts burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This diet is effective for weight loss, diabetes management, and can reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic health conditions.
6. DASH diet foods
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a diet promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to control hypertension. This diet cuts a lot of high-fat, processed foods and replaces them with healthier choices like fresh fruits and vegetables. This automatically reduces calorie intake and helps with weight loss.
Foods to avoid for longevity
Processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and hamburgers are linked with an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. They’re categorized as Group 1 carcinogens by the World Health Organization (WHO), which means there is sufficient evidence that these foods are linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Refined vegetable oils and trans fats
Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for optimal health, but they must be in the right balance. Plant oils like soybean oil, corn, sunflower, sesame, and peanut oil are high in omega 6, which can contribute to inflammation. Trans fats found in processed foods such as margarine, deep-fried food, and shortening should be avoided.
Food isn’t just about pleasure; it’s about fueling your journey to a longer, healthier life. Eating more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts is key to health and longevity. Avoiding processed foods high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and trans fats can also help reduce inflammation and improve lifespan. But what works for one may not work for another. Consider speaking with a nutritionist if you want a diet tailored to your needs and goals.
Hormone University was created as an educational platform with the mission to improve hormone health through accessible knowledge and to advocate for social impact in our communities.
You’re not alone.
80% of the adult female population has experienced hormonal imbalance at one point in their life that affected not only their physical health but also their mental health. Coping with pain, infertility, anxiety, depression, body image issues, and, on top of this, judgment is the heavy load most of these women have to bear each day and an important problem we need to tackle as a society.