When I was younger in my late teens and early 20’s I developed a problem with obesity then watched as my father died of heart disease. I decided I didn’t want to go down that path. I started studying health and nutrition, I lost 40 pounds and went to school to become a personal trainer.
I mention my path because along the way I studied diets. I prefer not to refer to the way I eat as a diet as much as a lifestyle choice. It started with which diets are most effective when I was in my twenties, then in my thirties, I was interested in which are the healthiest. And now as I am approaching my fifties, I am interested in not only which are the healthiest but what do demographics of people eat who live the longest. I am not talking about your uncle Bob who has eaten fast food all of his life and died in his 90’s. I am referring to the average age of certain demographics. Bob Hope drank and smoked and lived to be 100, but I think common sense tells us that most people won’t live long lives if they try that approach.
I am not interested in telling people how to eat. More, I am interested in people figuring it out for themselves. I encourage people to look up “Blue Zones” That refers to groups of people who tend to live the longest. Each of those demographics eats very little animal proteins if at all. They also tend to be active every day, they have a purpose and several other traits in common that contribute to their longevity.
What none of these groups do is none of them eat a lot of animal proteins. There are Keto diets for vegans, but on the whole, the Keto diet does tend to have a lot of animal proteins in it. People will suggest that thousands of years ago this was the way people used to eat. My response to this is always the same…” thousands of years ago, Healthy Living to 35 was a long life”. So let’s not compare then with now. We have healthcare, medicine, toothbrushes and a lot of comforts that help us to live longer now that people didn’t have thousands of years ago. It is not intelligent comparing then with now.
I would encourage people to look up the study on blue zones. Buy the book, figure out why these demographics of people live so long, then copy what they do. And when you figure it out, I might see you in the grocery store because we will be shopping for the same things I shop for…
Fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains that have a 20% fibre per serving, beans, legumes, herbs and spices, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage. Green leafy vegetables and mushrooms. And all of this food is to be cooked or served from scratch. We don’t buy food in a can or a box unless we don’t have access to fresh food. And while you are at it, 30 minutes of exercise every day is a great start.
So, the Keto diet? No, I am not a believer in it. I have heard people say they went on it and lost 30 pounds and it was great. And they should go on it again. A little tip here…If you lose weight then gain it back and need to diet again, it was not a success. If it was successful people would stay on it for their entire lives. And if you can stay on it all of your life, then all the more power to you. In the meantime, I hope your kidneys pass the test of time. Our bodies only need .08 to 1g of protein per kg of Healthy Body weight. Any more than that and we eliminate the rest of it is stored as fat. Do the math for your Healthy Body and think about how much harder our kidneys are working because you consumed that 8-ounce steak.
You don’t have to be a scientist or a nutritionist. You just need to take a logical approach to healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.
I am not a fan of diets. If you want to live a long, healthy life at your ideal weight, follow a few simple tips…
Stop eating processed junk. If it comes in a box and or offers ingredients that you can’t read, can’t pronounce or don’t understand, you don’t need to eat it.
- Exercise every day.
- Don’t eat after 6-7p.m.
- Take a water bottle with you everywhere and sip on it throughout the day.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Eat your vegetables, whole grains (with at least 20% fibre per serving), nuts and seeds, beans and legumes (you don’t need a lot of beans and legumes per day. A little bit goes a long way).
- Animal proteins should be consumed like a garnish (if at all) for your health and longevity.
- Reduce or eliminate the man-made sugars.
There is a lot of good quality fat in avocados, nuts and seeds. You don’t need to add man-made fats to the mix. Nor do you need fat from oil, dairy or animal proteins.
We are the only animals on the planet that consume another’s breast milk. Is that logical? Cow’s milk is intended to fatten up a baby calf and turn it into a cow. You can get the same amount of calcium from almond milk with a third of the calories. Or just eat vegetables.
Take this approach and you won’t have to worry about the Keto diet or any other diet. And your chances of dying early from heart diseases or obesity-related diseases and cancers will go down significantly.