This article originally appeared on Dr. Mark's, Natural Running Center
My wife’s grandmother lived to 103, and the holidays just past have reminded me of how she lived. She was not a runner, nor did she do a lot of cardio, except for sauce stirring and daily walks to markets and church. Our own local legend Frank Buckles who lived to 110 ate in this manner too; he was a farmer.
Walking and running are good for you, but without proper nutrition one will not achieve optimal health.
On this topic, I encourage you to read Dr. Phil Maffetone’s most recent Natural Running Center’s article that examines the negative impact of sugar consumption (even from refined-flour food favorites such as bagels) and the runner. As he points out, “Unfortunately, too many of these calories burned during a workout are in the form of sugar and not fat. This occurs because the consumption of sugar affects one’s metabolism, forcing the body to use much more glucose for energy and too little fat. The result is less energy available for working out and virtually all other activities, and, because less fat is used for energy, it’s stored throughout the body.”
Best-selling food author Michael Pollan has written extensively on the topic of sound, life-extending nutrition. He states, “Cultures eating wide variety of traditional diets do not get Western diseases.” How true.
And many of us have committed to memory his simple recommendation: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”
In his book, “Food Rules,” he identified “64 Health and Nutrition Facts. The Unfortunate Truths” Here’s 10 of them from his useful list:
2. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
17. Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans.
18. Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap.
19. If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
20. It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car
21. It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language (Think Big Mac, Cheetos or Pringles)
37. The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead,
57. Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.
58. Do all your eating at a table
64. Break the rules once in a while!
Here’s some other helpful resources that will help keep you on the road to healthy eating:
Details on sugary drinks: http://fewersugarydrinks.org/
Recipes for Health, NY Times: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/series/recipes_for_health/index.html
The ultimate source for what’s in foods (go here if you dare): http://www.calorieking.com/foods
The Skinny on Obesity. A must view for every human: http://www.uctv.tv/skinny-on-obesity/
Weight of the Nation on HBO- 4 hours of documentary free online: http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/
Dr. Dan Lieberman: http://nytimes.com/2012/06/06/opinion/evolutions-sweet-tooth.html
Books: In Defense of Food and Food Rules by Michael Pollan; Why We Get Fat and What to do About It and Good Calories , Bad Calories by Gary Taubs
Movies: Forks over Knives; Food Inc; Super Size Me; Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead