The Linus Pauling Institute, founded by renowned scientist Linus Pauling, studies the role of nutrients on health. Naturally, they are experts on the topic of staying healthy. Their “Prescription for Health” contains their top recommendations; below are their top 10 lifestyle tips.
1. Eat your fruits and veggies. Get at least five servings every day (potatoes are not considered a veggie for these purposes, so no cheating and counting french fries as a veggie serving!). But don’t limit yourself at five. The latest recommendations actually have nine servings as the optimal amount, but that’s hard to aim for if you don’t even get five servings daily. Baby steps.
2. Include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Easy ways to do this: flax seeds, walnuts, canola or flax seed oil.
3. When cooking with oil, don’t use saturated fats. Try to stick with olive oil, which is heart-friendly.
4. Avoid other saturated fats. This includes butter, full-fat dairy products, most meats, and shortening.
5. Reduce simple carbohydrates. This includes white flour, white rice, and potatoes. Replace with whole grain counterparts.
6. Reduce sugar intake. Common culprits are soda, cereals (Lucky Charms, anyone?), and obviously, candy.
7. Keep your weight healthy. If your BMI is over 25, you’re at a much higher risk of chronic diseases. Also, it’s been found that the more abdominal fat you have, the higher your risk of disease.
8. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day at moderate intensity. Incorporate weight training two days a week.
9. Quit smoking!
10. Drink alcohol. Actually, a small amount on a daily basis has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease. However, this same amount has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. If your family doesn’t have a cancer history, keep your drinking down to one a day for women and two a day for men.