7 Tips For Living Longer And Not Getting Sick

Accomplish at least six of the following seven heart-health lifestyle factors and, on average, over 14.5 years (the length of time of the study’s follow-up) you’ll be 51% less likely to die of all causes and 76% less likely to die of cardiovascular causes – as compared to people meeting only one or none of the factors.

The 7 Factors:

  1. Don’t smoke
  2. Be physically active
  3. Have normal blood pressure
  4. Have normal blood glucose
  5. Have normal total cholesterol levels
  6. Don’t be overweight or obese (have a BMI of less than 25)
  7. Eat a healthy diet

This Is A Case Where More Is Better

The more factors you meet, the better the result.  The benefits went beyond cardiovascular disease.  According to the researchers, meeting a greater number of the health goals appeared to be associated with a lower risk for all cancer mortality.

The study, published in JAMA and presented at a specialty meeting of the American Heart Association, analyzed data on 44,959 US adults who completed national health and nutrition surveys.

What Eating A Healthy Diet Means

Eating a healthy diet was scored based on 5 American Heart Association recommendations.  They consist of:

  1. Eating 4.5 cups or more of fruit and vegetables daily
  2. Having 2 or more 3.5 oz. servings of fish each week
  3. Having 3 or more servings (1 oz equivalent) of fiber rich whole grains each day
  4. Having less than 1500 milligrams of sodium daily
  5. Having no more than 36 oz. of sugar sweetened beverages in a week

Meeting three or more of these recommendations counted as meeting the healthy diet factor.

The Benefits Are Cumulative

The conclusion of the study was:  “Meeting a greater number of cardiovascular health metrics was associated with a lower risk of total and CVD mortality, but the prevalence of meeting all 7 cardiovascular health metrics was low in the study population.”

But, the benefits are cumulative.  Try changing just one factor at a time – which could make a big difference.  Think about starting with whatever factor is easiest for you to accomplish – do it – and then move on to the next one.


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One Response to 7 Tips For Living Longer And Not Getting Sick

  1. Angie Swartz July 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Hi Penny, This is a great post to print out and hang on the fridge. As we know, what we measure, we accomplish. I follow a pretty clean diet with no gluten, soy, shellfish, yeast, dairy but I still need to remind myself to eat fish. I love to eat it when someone else cooks it so I try to order fish dishes when dining out. I look forward to your future posts. Happy Tuesday!

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