Would You Like To Live Longer?

Live Longer, healthy eating

Source: Marg

Recently KQED radio ran a ‘must listen’ 52 min interview titled How To Eat For A Longer Life with:

– two scientists from Buck Institute for Research on Aging and

– the author of “The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods

You can download the mp3 file of this show here.

Key highlights of this discussion include:

1. Timestamp 04:30 – Cheating Death By Eating Less: Diet restriction can extend life by couple of decades; When you eat less you get limited nutrients and consequently your body learns to adapt to this deficiency by developing stronger immune system.

2. Timestamp 05:40 – Opposite Of Atkins Diet Extends Life: Although high protein diets have short term benefits, low protein diets are far better in long run.

3. Timestamp 8:50 – Super 16 Foods: Foods like Asparagus, Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Avocado, Basil, Mint, Blue & Dark Berries, Kale, Olive Oil, Sweet Potatoes and Wild Salmon build immunity, lower cholesterol, enhance memory, strengthen heart and reduce chances of developing diabetes.

4. Timestamp 22:10 – DESS: Diet, Exercise, Sleep, Stress Reduction are critical for optimal health.

5. Timestamp 25:40 – Eat Food From Plants, Not Food Made In Plants: Natural foods are better than supplements because there are hundreds of phytonutrients in vegetables and fruits that companies and scientists haven’t discovered yet.

6. Timestamp 28:25 – Cooked vs. Raw foods: Phytonutrients in vegetables like Kale and Broccoli are more bioavailable to our body when they are cooked lightly, so cooking is not harmful.

7. Timestamp 34:30 – Multiple Small vs. Few Larger Meals: Following Circadian Rythms i.e. keeping a routine is more important than number of meals; Breakfast is most important meal of the day; Also avoid eating at least 3 hours before going to bed.

8. Timestamp 47:00 – Impact of GMO Foods: Try to limit GMO foods as they have an effect on Gluten and Gliadin; GMO foods are partly responsible for the rise in Gluten allergies.

Great advice to not only help you live longer, but also significantly improve your health.

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What Is The Best Way To Lose Weight?

“The Best Diet Is The One You Don’t Know You’re On ” – Brian Wansink, Mindless Eating

Did you ever try to lose weight? The most common practice to shed a few (or more) pounds is to go on a diet.  How successful is this strategy?  Some studies suggest that as many as 95% of people who lose weight by dieting gain it back in 5 years.   Other studies put this number at around 65%. But no one debates that a majority of people do gain back their weight after dieting.

Why Don’t Diets Have Long Lasting Impact?

In his book Mindless Eating – which  is my favorite book on understanding how we consume food – Brian Wansink says that most dieters are trying to lose weight as fast as possible and therefore use food deprivation as a technique for weight loss. When you suddenly deprive your body of say 500 – 1,000 fewer calories per day , your body is continually looking for those lost calories. And  slowly but surely it finds a way to get those calories back.

What Is The Best Way To Lose Weight?

Again, in Mindless Eating, Brian Wansink shares a story about his colleague:
One collegue of mine, Cindy, had lost around 20 pounds during her first 2 years at a new job. When I asked how she lost the weight, she couldn’t really answer.  Afte some persistent questioning, it seemed that the only deliberate change she’d made two years earlier was to give up caffeine.  She switched from coffee to herbal tea. That didn’t seem to explain anything.
“Oh yeah,” she said, “and because I gave up caffeine, I also stopped drinking Coke.”  She had been drinking about six cans a week – far from a serious habit – but the 139 calories in each Coke translated into 12 pounds a year. She wasn’t even aware of why she’d lost weight.  In her mind all she’d done was cut out caffeine.
In a classic article in Science, Drs. James O. Hill and John C. Peters suggested that cutting only 100 calories a day from our diets would prevent weight gain in most of the U.S. population.

How Much Weight Will You Lose?

When you cut around 100 calories per day, your body barely notices the difference, and you end up losing weight over a period of time.  Brian Wansink calls this slight drop in daily calories the Mindless Margin. He suggests that a simple way to estimate how much weight you would lose is to divide the calories of the things you give up by 10.  So for example giving up one 140 calorie soft drink each day equates losing 14pounds per year. [click to continue…]


Healthy Dishes, Eat Out, Take Out, HealthyDiningFinder, Healthy Restaurants

We recently stumbled upon Healthy Dining Finder.  It is a great tool to find healthy options when eating out or getting take out.  Their team of registered dietitians and nutrition experts review restaurant menus to review and analyze calories, fat, saturated fat, sodium and other nutrients of restaurant dishes.  How does it work? Simply enter your zip code and this website lists restaurants by number of healthy dishes, price and distance.

What Qualifies As Healthy Dishes?

Healthy Dinner Finder lists the menu items of restaurants in three categories

1. Healthy Dining

  • Entrées are less than 750 calories, 25 grams of fat and 8 grams of saturated fat and include at least two of the following: Fruits and/or Vegetables, Lean Protein, Whole Grains and Lower-fat Dairy
  • Appetizers, side dishes and desserts are less than 250 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of saturated fat
  • Deep fried items are excluded

2. Sodium Savvy

  • Entrées are less than 750 mg of sodium
  • Appetizers, Side Dishes and Desserts are less than 250 mg of sodium

3. Kids Live Well

  • Full Kids’ Meals (entrée, side option and beverage) are less than 600 calories and include at least two  of the following: Fruits and/or Vegetables, Lean Protein, Whole Grains and Lower-fat Dairy
  • Side Items  are less than 200 calories
  • All items  have less than 35% of calories from fat and less than 35% of calories from sugars
  • Deep fried items are excluded

If you try it, let me know what you think.


cheap eats, Zagat food Rating, google

Do you want to have your cake and eat it too?  Sure!  I’m always on the look out for good quality food at the lowest possible price.  Websites like Yelp and Urbanspoon are great resources to find cheap eats.  However, my new favorite is Zagat.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Zagat, it is a restaurant rating service.  Zagat uses a 30 point scale to rate restaurants (and other food establishments) on factors like Food, Decor, Service and Cost.  Late last year, Google bought Zagat.  Prior to Google’s acquisition you had to pay for Zagat’s ratings.  Google has made it FREE!!

Here is a video (and transcript) of how to use Zagat to, among other things, find good quality cheap eats in less than 5 minutes.

Here is a video and transcript of how to use Zagat to, among other things, find good quality cheap eats in less than 5 minutes.


Today I’m going to show you how to find good quality cheap eats in less than 5 minutes using Zagat.

Go to Zagat.com.  Sign in with your Google plus account.  If you don’t have a Google plus account, you can register here for free. [click to continue…]


Introduction: Healthy Eating made Simple and Efficient

With the New Year around the corner healthy eating is going to be on most of our New Year’s resolution lists.  But how many of us will be successful at consistently eating healthy in 2013?

Eating healthy is challenging

Let’s face it,  the process of getting healthy meals on our plates is not always easy.   When we cook at home, we face two big issues:

1. Cooking is time-consuming

cooking time consuming

In order to cook at home we have to plan, buy groceries from one or more grocery stores, prep, and cook.  This process takes time.

2. Cooking healthy is a complicated equation

cooking complex equation

USDA’s Food Plate recommends that we eat within a certain caloric range and ensure that our diet includes a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, proteins, grains and dairy.  These recommendations by themselves can be very complicated to put into practice.  However when you add other factors such as personal preferences (tastes, likes, dislikes), diets (Atkins, vegetarian, vegan) and other considerations (price, brand, local/organic, etc.), you end up with a highly complicated problem.

Unhealthy eating can cause serious problems

families eat porly have health problems

Families – especially with children – are constantly strapped for time.  We simply don’t have a lot of time to plan and cook healthy meals.  And even if we do, we end up getting overwhelmed with managing the complexity of eating healthy.  As a result of this we don’t always make the best food decisions.

[click to continue…]