I’m sharing an article I read below because I thought it was so good. There are definitely things I need to work on in this list! Please note the author’s information at the bottom.

Healthy eating is key to fighting effects of aging

I want to share some of my principles of healthy eating.

If you want to look better naked, you must pay attention to what you put in your mouth. There’s no getting around it!

I know almost every publication has articles about nutrition and diet, so I’m only going to say some key things from an anti-aging doctor’s perspective. I have been doing research on obesity and weight loss for many years. What I am sharing with you is derived from sound evidence in medical literature:

1. We all eat too much. Portions and calories must be cut down if you want to live longer. This has been proven in clinical research, both in animals and humans. In a nutshell, when you are calorie-restricted, certain genes are turned on that help preserve the function and longevity of your body’s cells.

2. Our food is loaded with chemicals, which may be harmful. To the greatest degree possible, avoid the center section of the grocery store (where all the processed and canned goods are) and focus on fresh, whole foods. Whenever possible, buy food that is organic and free of chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. Eat raw foods when you can. When making food choices, imagine yourself as a caveman or cavewoman, and ask yourself, “Would this food be available to me outside my cave?” If not, chances are you don’t need it.

3. Keep your insulin level steady. Avoid things that raise your blood sugar because insulin always follows. High insulin and high sugar will age you faster. Foods should be low Glycemic Index (GI) whenever possible. If you can’t avoid a high GI food, combine it with healthy fats and/or protein, which will slow digestion and make the effective rise in blood sugar much lower.

• Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical measure of the effects of foods on blood sugar levels. Foods that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI. Foods that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI.

• Some common high GI foods that you may not be aware of: juice; fruits, with rare exception; rice; milk; bread products, including tortillas; pasta; potatoes and potato products.

• A good rule of thumb is if you have to chew a food for a long time before you can swallow, it’s probably low Glycemic Index (more difficult to digest). But if you stick it all in a blender or a VitaMix, you’ve just made it easier to digest and higher GI.

• Is whole grain better than white bread, or brown rice better than white rice? Sure – but not to the degree you might think. So be wary.

4. Artificial sweeteners have almost the same effect on your insulin levels as regular sugar, plus they are foreign substances to your body. Avoid them.

5. Eat a variety of foods. Sensitivities develop whenever we eat the same thing all the time. These sensitivities, even on a low-grade level, lead to inflammation and therefore quicker aging.

6. Eat breakfast every day, frequent small meals, and low-carb and/or low Glycemic Index whenever possible. These three principles have been proven to be the most effective dietary strategies across the majority of all clinical research done on weight loss.

7. Make breakfast or lunch the biggest meals of the day, never dinner.

8. Alcohol is a common source of unnecessary extra calories and is detrimental to growth hormone (GH) secretion because it disrupts the normal sleep cycle, and you normally secrete GH during the first few hours of sleep. GH is one of the most important hormones to keep at youthful levels if you want to age with a higher quality of life.

9. Eating carbohydrates shuts off GH secretion, which is designed to help keep blood sugar levels up when you are fasting. GH is the only hormone that preserves lean body mass at the expense of fat – perhaps the reason low-carb diets work better? This fact also might explain the increased longevity seen with chronic calorie restriction. When you are not well-fed, your GH levels are naturally higher.

10. Caffeine can also disrupt the balance of certain hormones, as well as cause adrenal fatigue. If you are already stressed or sleep deprived, you probably have adrenal fatigue and caffeine will only exacerbate the problem. One big thing caffeine does is increase the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. This is why caffeine consumption can lead to fibrocystic breast disease in women and lower testosterone levels in men. Caffeine should be kept to a maximum of one serving a day.

11. Sodas and carbonated beverages are loaded with toxins and chemicals that can leech important minerals from your body. They really have no place in a healthy diet.

12. Cruciferous vegetables help you metabolize your hormones in the safest manner. Eat lots of them to protect yourself from things like breast and prostate cancer.

OK, I know this a LONG list! Don’t worry – I’m not perfect either. It’s hard to practice all these things. Just do the best you can and you WILL look better naked!

Darren A. Farnesi, M.D., APC, offers his sound advice and personal knowledge of the industry as a successful doctor with Medical Age Management Inc. He can be reached at (619) 299-0700 or online at http://manageyourage.com/