Low-fat vegetarian diet is the ideal diet. Dr Dean Ornish, head of Preventive Medicine Research Institute at Sausalito California, published his study in Lancet Oncology, recommending lifestyle changes such as diet rich in fibre, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes and soy products, moderate exercise and stress management for a healthy and longer life. Sheldon G Sheps of Mayo Clinic found that a diet of fruits, vegetables and grains leads to lengthening of lifespan, and unprocessed foods, such as wholewheat flour, vegetables and fresh fruit and low-fat dairy products cause considerable reduction in blood pressure, which is a silent killer. Processed foods such as chocolates, cakes, cookies mainly provide calories and excessive consumption causes diabetes, obesity and coronary artery disease.
Free radicals are unstable and have highly active compounds. Oxidation and other chemical reactions involving oxygen produce maximum free radicals. Free radicals damage cells and cause ageing. Free radicals are produced in higher quantities when we consume a diet rich in saturated fats and sugar. Other than normal metabolism, some external substances also produce free radicals such as tobacco, alcohol, environmental pollutants, radiation and fatty diet. The Human body produces antioxidant enzymes opposing free radicals. Vitamins C and E, Selenium, Carotenes and flavonoids are good antioxidants. A considerable body of scientific data suggests positive relationships between vegetarian lifestyles and risk-reduction for several chronic degenerative diseases and conditions, such as obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, colon cancer, and others. Vegetarians also have lower rates of osteoporosis, lung cancer, breast cancer, kidney stones, gallstones, and diverticular disease.
Various researches have confirmed that there are foods which help you to live longer. These foods are mostly from plants, and are wholegrains, berries, olives and olive oil, garlic, nuts, green tea, fish, avocado, and dark chocolate. Blue zone people live longest and their diets mostly include plant-based food and fish. Blue Zones include Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Karia (Greece) and Loma Linda in California (USA).
THERE ARE FOODS WHICH HELP YOU TO LIVE LONGER. THESE FOODS ARE MOSTLY FROM PLANTS, AND ARE WHOLEGRAINS, BERRIES, OLIVES AND OLIVE OIL, GARLIC, NUTS, GREEN TEA, FISH, AVOCADO, AND DARK CHOCOLATE.
Their longevity is due to their dietary habits and lifestyles. They smoke less and are semi-vegetarians. They take a moderate calorie plant- based diet and moderate amount of wine. In a cohort study, the combination of a plant-based diet, normal BMI, and not smoking, accounted for differences up to 15 years in life expectancy. The diet advice for people living in temperate climate and tropical is slightly different. The tropical country people should ensure significant quantities of salt in their diets specially in summer to compensate for electrolyte loss in sweat.
They should be cutting on coffee, tea and alcohol to reduce the risk of dehydration. Citrus fruits, water-dense fruits (melon and watermelon) and yogurt should be taken in good quantities and protein- rich foods, specially nonvegetarian, be reduced.
A healthy diet that is low in fat – specially saturated, having plantbased natural, unprocessed food products – reduces our risk of developing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and cancer of the colon and breast. In spite of being low in calories, this diet does not cause weakness or deficiencies of required nutrients. Such a diet helps in reducing weight and then maintaining it. This diet is rich in natural complex carbohydrates such as wholegrains, beans, green vegetables and fresh fruits which do not immediately increase the blood level of sugar due to having low glycemic index. Avoiding simple carbohydrates such as sugar, alcohol, syrups and high glycemic foods which are only calories and have no nutrients, increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer. A healthy diet of complex carbohydrates is more filling than a diet of simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates or empty calories also get deposited in the body in the form of fat. Dietary fat specially saturated, easily gets converted and deposited as body fat.
Protein should be in an average quantity, 1 gm per kg of body weight and at an average of not more than 100 gm per day. If you take a vegetarian diet of mixed food items such as grains, legumes, nonfat milk and yogurt, you will get a complete proteins – not much different from animal protein such as fish, chicken and mutton. Egg white is also a complete protein. Saturated fat is full of cholesterol, your body requires cholesterol, but you don’t need to have saturated fat as your low-fat vegetarian diet provides you sufficient cholesterol, which is required by the body. The excess of it is harmful, leading to coronary heart disease. Cholesterol is required by our body for making hormones and cell membranes and 75 per cent of body’s requirement of cholesterol is produced by the body itself. So, too much cholesterol in the diet is definitely not going to help you but rather harm you.