Ten Best and Worst Foods for Health and Longevity

I am often asked for my list of the best foods to eat. People want to know which foods provide the keys to optimum health and longevity. They are searching for simple solutions to reach their ideal weight, achieve immunity to disease, and feel their best every day. The short answer is: Eat foods that contain the most micronutrients, phytochemicals, and other health-promoting compounds.

Nutrition by the Numbers

With the proposed changes to the familiar and decades-old nutrition facts label, it seems like an appropriate time for a nuts-and-bolts-type analysis of how much we actually need of each macronutrient – protein, carbohydrate, and fat – along with how many calories and how much fluid to aim for every day.

What Really Kills Us

Heart disease is not the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. Cancer, stroke, pulmonary disease, diabetes, and dementia are not the other leading causes of early mortality and/or chronic malady either. They are effects. If these account for 80 percent of premature deaths, it stands to reason that their opposite could eliminate up to 80 percent of all premature mortality and chronic illness. This proves to be exactly true.

Loosening the Grip on Calories

In plenty of situations it is appropriate to focus on exact numbers. But evidence is starting to confirm something I’ve long believed: For the purposes of weight management, longevity, and quality of life, we likely overestimate the importance of calculating calories. What is more important then? I suggest, looking at the larger picture.

8 Habits of Highly Fit People You Can Incorporate In Your Life

Throughout my years as a registered dietitian, I’ve worked with thousands of clients and have had the opportunity to witness countless success stories and transformations, both physically and mentally. From the outside, maintaining their newly found level of wellness and fitness may appear to be practically effortless for these individuals, but I’ve noticed that very fit people share many of the same behavioral patterns that play a key role in their continued success.

Kindergarten and Karma

Dieting is an infamously lonely endeavor. People may eat with their families, but they diet alone. As a society we sanction a multi-billion dollar weight loss industry for adults. We line up, sign up, go on and fall off – all the while leaving our kids out of it. Every time we neglect a family-based approach to health and weight control, we increase the likelihood that our children will grow up to need those weight loss services even more desperately than we do.