Healthy Lifestyle Makes You Seem 12 Years Younger

An AAHPO Medical Alert



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Pierre Maldjian, MD

Khoren Nalbandian, RPh
Aram Cazazian, DDS
Vicken Pamoukian, MD
Terenig Terjanian, MD
Armand Asarian, MD



New research suggests that people who live a healthy lifestyle live longer and seem 12 years younger than their peers who smoke, drink excessively, don't exercise, and have a poor diet.
The findings are from a study which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study followed nearly 5,000 British adults for 20 years, and they highlight yet another reason to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

But what is a healthy lifestyle? Fortunately, we have nutritionists Knarig Khatchadurian, PhD, RD, Sunny Shahinian, MS, RD, and Verzhine Daglyan, BS, RD to help us sort it out.

"The research indicates you don't need to be extreme to be healthy. The positive behaviors add up, so most people can achieve them," said Dr. Khatchadurian.

Some simple daily guidelines include:

  1. Select fiber-rich, whole grain foods.
  2. Eat a variety of fruits & vegetables with the rainbow colors.
  3. Drink milk, eat yogurt and cheese.
  4. Eat a combination of meats, nuts, beans & lentils.
  5. Minimize fats, and choose health-promoting olive oil.
  6. Drink 6-8 cups of water.

For further government recommendations, click here.

Limiting alcohol consumption is also important. U.S. guidelines permit up to two alcoholic drinks a day for men, and up to one alcoholic drink a day for women (in the study, the healthiest people were teetotalers or consumed alcohol moderately).

No amount of smoking is considered healthy. The 314 unhealthiest study participants had all four unhealthy behaviors (smoking, drinking, no exercise, poor diet). Among them, 91 died during the study, or 29 percent, most commonly from heart disease and cancer - both related to unhealthy lifestyles.
Among the 387 healthiest people with none of the four habits, only 32 died, or about 8 percent.

The lead researcher said the four bad habits combined greatly increased the risk of death and made people who engaged in them seem 12 years older than people in the healthiest group.


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