There’s a belief in many societies that aging and a decline in health inevitably go hand-in-hand. Someone in their thirties joking about not being able to tolerate a hangover that they could 10 years ago or someone in their forties wondering why their bones started aching every morning aren’t imagining things. And, then of course there are the ailments that plague older populations, such as dementia and Parkinson’s.
But according to functional medicine doctor Mark Hyman, MD., author of the new book Food Fix, it’s not impossible to get healthier as you age. It takes a conscious effort to live well, and Dr. Hyman says that this often comes down to common sense everyday habits such as regular exercise and a predominantly healthy diet.
On the food front, Dr. Hyman offers up this important intel on how to live longer, healthfully. “A diet that helps to protect against insulin resistance is the number one factor,” he says. “The main driver of all diseases related to aging is sugar and starch.” Minimizing consumption of these two ingredients is directly linked to aging well because they are both linked to insulin resistance as well as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and even depression.
If the idea of protecting against insulin resistance is totally new to you (it shouldn’t be if you are a follower of my blog), getting acquainted with the glycemic index is a good tool to use as a guide. The glycemic index is a numerical index or ranking of carbohydrates based on how they impact blood sugar levels when eaten without any other foods. Starchy foods, like those Dr. Hyman avoids, tend to be on the high end of the glycemic index. Maintaining a healthy weight is also linked to protecting against insulin resistance.
Below is a compact chart of different foods and their glycemic index. You can, of course, Google and look up the index for whatever food you want.
Dr. Hyman’s big takeaway is that being mindful of the amount of sugars and starches you eat on a regular basis is the next best habit someone can make in terms of healthy aging. Put this tip into practice and you’ll be thanking yourself for many years to come.
That’s it for now my friends; see you all the next time.