Nutritional secrets of the world’s longest-living people

Nutritional secrets of the world’s longest-living people

by Carol Penfield, M.S., Nurse Practitioner

Dan Buettner, National Geographic fellow, identified 5 areas of the world where people live to the age of 100 and lead fulfilling lives.  He called these locations “Blue Zones”.  He continued to work with researchers and dietitians to identify their dietary and daily practices that contributed to their unique longevity.  Here is a brief summary:

  • Okinawa, Japan: Home of the world’s longest-lived women. Their dietary habits include; sweet potato, brown rice, turmeric, vegetables, seaweed and tofu. Dairy and meat (primarily pork) represented only 3 percent of their caloric intake as well as minimal sugar and salt.
  • Sardinia, Italy: Mountainous highlands with the highest concentration of centenarian men. They typically consumed meat and dairy from sheep or goats. Flat and sour dough bread, grains (mostly barley), chick peas, tomatoes, almonds and local red wine.
  • Loma Linda, California: 7th Day Adventists who live ten more HEALTHY years than the average American. Their diet consists of mostly fruits and vegetables (avocados), salmon, nuts, beans, oatmeal, soy milk, and whole wheat bread.
  • Ikaria, Greece: An island off the coast of Turkey, with the lowest rate of dementia and middle-age mortality. Their diet varied from the typical Mediterranean diet with emphasis on potatoes, legumes, wild greens, fruit, lemon juice and small amounts of fish.
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: The lowest rate of middle-age mortality and 2nd highest concentration of male centenarians. Their dietary choices include corn soaked in lime and ground into corn meal, squash, papayas, yams, bananas, black beans and rice.

There is more to living a long healthy life than just the food you eat.  These “blue zone” populations also moved naturally, had a sense of community with deep social networks, valued friends and their elders, rested, had a sense of purpose and faith, and gardened.

It is not just about what to eat but also notice what these communities did NOT eat.  They had minimal sweets, salt, processed foods, dairy or animal protein.

Are there ways that you can improve your diet? Eating and living like the world’s healthiest people is not just about adding years to your life, but about adding life to your years.

You can learn more from Dan Buettner’s book, “The Blue Zone Solution”.

Carol Penfield M.S., Nurse Practitioner, specializes in Lifestyle Medicine and is accepting new patients into her practice at Emerald Physicians beginning mid-May.

Going NUTS after the holidays?

As we enter a new year, many choose to focus on weight loss.  With that in mind, dieters tend to shy away from nuts.  Although calorie dense, they are a nutritional powerhouse.  Nuts are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin E and folate) and minerals (such as magnesium and calcium).  Having “just a few” nuts can also assist with satiety.  What is the healthiest nut?  It depends on what your focus is.  According to the chart below, almonds offer the most “bang for your buck”.  Incidentally, peanuts were added to the list, although they are technically legumes rather than nuts. If you are concerned about fat, focus on the healthier fat content rather than the total fat amount.  Believe it or not, even nuts contain saturated (unhealthy) fat, therefore minimize macadamia, brazil and cashew consumption.  Pick sources of unsaturated (good) fats which provide total Omega 3 fatty acids, the best being walnuts.  For highest protein content, choose almonds or peanuts and for fiber, almonds win again! The best magnesium sources are: coconut WATER (not milk), brazil nuts or cashews. If interested in Vitamin E or calcium supplementation, then almonds are the ideal choice.

Suggestions for dieters.  The lowest calorie content per ounce is almonds, pistachios or peanuts.  But if you are prone to over eating your favorite nut, choose a different type or consider buying the nuts in their shells and work for them! For portion control, purchase 100 calorie pre-packaged almonds. Other tips:  Choose raw unsalted or dry roasted nuts to avoid excess oil, salt and sugar preparations.  If you have a sweet tooth, try cocoa dusted almonds.  Beware of trail mixes, since many include chocolate pieces or other high calorie tasty additives that make you want to eat more!  Adding a few nuts to your salad or fruit snack are great ways to slow digestion and feel satisfied longer, which potentially decreases overeating.  Just don’t go nuts and eat too many!

Nutritional Content of Common Nuts (1 oz.)

Nutrients per 1 oz. (weight)
Nut
Variety
Approx # of nuts
Cals (kcal)
Protein (g)
Total Fat (g)
Satur-ated Fat (g)
Mono- unsatur-ated Fat (g)
Poly- unsatur-ated Fat (g)
Carbs (g)
Fiber (g)
Almonds
23
160
6
14
1
9
3.5
6
4
Brazil
Nuts
6
190
4
19
4
7
6
3
2
Cashews
18
160
4
13
3
8
2
9
1
Hazelnuts
21
180
4
17
1.5
13
2
5
3
Maca-
damia Nuts
11
200
2
22
3.5
17
0.5
4
2
Pecans
19 (halves)
200
3
20
2
12
6
4
3
Pine Nuts
165
190
4
20
1.5
5.5
10
4
1
Pistachios
49
160
4
18
1.5
7
4
8
3
Walnuts
Peanuts
14 (halves)
28
190
159
4
7
18
14
1.5
2
2.5
6.8
13
4.4
4
5
2
2
 (foodreference.about.com)

Turning Green with Protein

TURNING GREEN WITH PROTEIN

By Carol Penfield, M.S., Nurse Practitioner

“Eat your vegetables” is an ageless request.  The health benefits of eating vegetables is extensive.  They are a wonderful source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  Eating an assortment of vegetables of various colors also have been shown to promote a decreased risk for heart disease, cancers, stroke, as well as eye and digestive disorders.  Variety is as important as quantity.  The goal is to consume at least 2½ cups of vegetables daily.  According to major studies that included 110,000 people showed that those who ate 8 or more vegetable servings a day were 30% less likely to have a stroke or heart attack.

However, many people do not realize that some vegetables are also sources of protein.  Legumes, such as black beans, chick peas, kidney beans contain roughly 14 – 16 grams of protein per cup.  The highest protein content is in white beans and lentils, topping out at 19 grams/cup.  Other vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, corn and artichokes provide 4 – 5 grams of protein per cup.  Potatoes do as well, but don’t remove the skin, it contains over half of the nutrient.  The ideal source of vegetable protein is soy beans.  A cup serving has 29 grams and contains all 9 of the essential amino acids.

When adding protein to your meal, think beyond animal sources.  Animal based protein, such as meat, chicken, and cheese, also are sources of cholesterol, saturated fat and offer NO fiber.  The typical American diet exceeds the daily requirement of protein.  In fact, the suggested daily requirements have decreased over the years.  An average recommendation for females is 45 – 50 gms daily, and 50 – 70 gms for males. When looking for healthy sources of protein, look to vegetables as a lower calorie option as well.

Yet, another reason to eat more vegetables!

 

Carol Penfield M.S., NPC. is a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Lifestyle Medicine.  She instructs Complete Health Improvement Programs “CHIP” that highlight nutrition and exercise at Chatham Health & Swim Club. For more information contact: carol@chathamhealthclub.com  or call 508-945-3555.

 

Healthy Eating for Your Good Health!

Healthy Eating For Your Good Health.

By Carol Penfield, M.S., Nurse Practitioner

I will be addressing healthy eating in “To Your Good Health” (an insert in the Cape Codder) on a regular basis.  My expertise is in the relatively new medical specialty of Lifestyle Medicine.  The principles of Lifestyle Medicine were developed from evidence-based medical research, and help you prevent and even reverse disease by addressing how you live your life day to day.  This includes exercise, stress management, substance abuse, sleep quality and, most germaine to this column, diet.  What you eat greatly affects your health and wellbeing. This makes sense to most of us intuitively, but up to now that knowledge has not led to behavior change in the general population.

So what is a “healthy” diet, and why should you follow it?  Dr. Dean Ornish is one of the pioneers who scientifically addressed how a low fat, plant-based diet was able to decrease and reverse narrowing of the arteries.  Not only did his seriously ill patients achieve a remarkable clinical reversal of their disease, but he used actual pictures of the heart vessels called “angiograms” to prove that those changes were real.

As a result of this and other research supporting “plant-based diet”, that term is now used more often, but what does it really mean?  It involves eating foods as grown and in their natural state, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts.  It also involves avoiding or minimizing the consumption of animal-based products, meaning foods produced from animals, such as cheese, ice cream, or meats. An easy way to remember this is to avoid eating anything that came from something with eyes… except potatoes, they are the only plant with “eyes”!  Furthermore, it means you need to avoid eating processed foods.  The body is designed to absorb the nutrients from foods in their natural state rather than products invented over the past few decades.

OK, simple enough, but at this point you might be thinking, “I still want my steak, and butter on my toast.”  I will address in future columns how you can change your eating habits in a positive and lasting way, and in more detail what you need to do, and why you will want to.

The Answer to Sustained Fitness for Non-Exercisers is here!

The answer to sustained fitness for non-exercisers is here!
If you do not exercise regularly, there is an exciting new option in fitness that will help get you on track. The health benefits of regular exercise are indisputable, yet only 15% of the population actually do it enough to reap the benefits! If you are in the 85% who know you should, but have not; there is an answer for you. It is called “small group fitness coaching” which involves a group of four exercising under the guidance of a coach.
Small group fitness coaching offers the benefits of both personal training (but more affordable) and exercise classes (without the “one size fits all”). This approach solves many of the barriers that have prevented people from exercising.
1) Exercise is boring: Small group coaching allows you to modify and change each session based on your interests as well as your fitness partners.
2) Exercise is expensive: The fees for a coach are more affordable than a personal trainer when you split the cost with 3 other participants.
3) I don’t want to get hurt: In a small group you receive more personalized instruction and the routine is tailored to your level of fitness. You can’t get lost in the back of the class!
4) I don’t feel like exercising today: Research shows that members of a small group program are more likely to stick with their routine than individuals or large class participants. Being accountable to your fellow group members keeps you going.
5) I am too out of shape: The small group coach can specifically modify each session to allow you to progress.
6) I can’t lose weight: Routines can be adjusted to boost your metabolism. This is possible since you have access to all types of fitness equipment each session.
7) I just don’t like to sweat: No problem, some fitness coaching can be done in the pool or can be effectively toned down to your level of comfort.
Sounds great? It is! Small group fitness coaching involves a certified professional who meets with a group (typically 4 people) who are friends or participants with similar levels of fitness, who will quickly become friends! Each session is scheduled like any other appointment in your life. The session is usually 45 – 60 minutes in duration and can be experiences in a fitness room using cardio and strengthening equipment, or in a group fitness room using a variety of options such as elastics, fitness balls, balance mounds, etc. Sessions can be in a pool which is ideal for those with arthritis or back issues. Yoga and stretching can be part of the routine as well. The format may involve a circuit workout where each person is doing a different movement with modifications as needed or sometimes interval exercises are incorporated. Some may prefer a sport specific routine such as golf or ski training. The options are endless, thus allowing fun innovative routines that keep you wanting to return for more!
When individuals exercise in a small group they try harder and stay accountable.
Invite a few of your friends to join you and try it out this New Year! Chatham Health & Swim Club will be offering this unique form of exercise as part of their “Weigh to Better Health” team fitness and weight loss program. It will start Friday, Jan. 8th. Come to a FREE INFO SESSION on Sat. Jan. 2 at 11 am to learn more.

Carol Penfield MS NPc will be instructing and/or supervising the groups to insure safe and age-specific instruction.
Call Chatham Health & Swim Club to reserve. 508-945-3555
or email info@chathamhealthclub.com today!

Live Longer, Feel Healthier!

Live Longer, Feel Healthier!
A new approach to health care has proven successful in Chatham.
This past year, 46 people have participated in the Complete Health Improvement program known as “C.H.I.P”. The program, developed by the Lifestyle Medicine Institute, has a well-established international success rate with over 65,000 satisfied patients. The experience in Chatham showed remarkable and measurable improvements in the participant’s health.
The participants set personalized achievable health goals which most of them were able to reach or surpass by the completion of the program. A majority of the participants lost weight (up to 30 pounds in 12 weeks) without having to diet or feel hungry. Many were able to lower their cholesterol and lipids by 30% without medications. One cardiac patient went from having chest pain while walking to his mailbox to being able to walk 1-mile pain-free. For some, blood pressures returned to normal ranges as well as blood sugar levels for those pre-diabetic. In addition, all participants felt happier, healthier and had more energy.
What is the C.H.I.P program? It involves a comprehensive approach to establishing new healthy behaviors that are sustainable. This includes dietary changes, reasonable amounts of exercise and improved response to stress. The program includes a medical evaluation and lab testing in order to monitor outcomes. Each class introduces evidence-based research on nutrition, fitness and proven techniques to help you achieve healthy outcomes. Nurse Practitioner, Carol Penfield M.S., has become certified and licensed by the Lifestyle Medicine Institute to teach the course and will be offering new enrollments for the October 2015 program.
Learn more at a FREE “CHIP” Info. Session hosted by the Chatham Health & Swim Club:
SATURDAY, SEPT. 19 at 11am
SATURDAY, SEPT. 26 at 11am
Call (508) 945- 3555 to reserve and get healthy with us!
Only offered at Chatham Health & Swim Club, 251 Crowell Rd., Chatham. http://www.chathamhealthclub.com

video pic 21

A comprehensive health improvement program is coming to Chatham.

Have you been told by your medical provider to “lose weight”, “exercise more”, “drink less alcohol” or make other therapeutic lifestyle changes? Often an individual is given 6 months to make changes before returning to their medical office for a new medication or an increase of an existing medication. The expense orstigma of taking pills lead many to seek alternative approaches. Where does one go for help? Information provided on the internet is where many turn to first. Unfortunately, these sources are often biased, trying to sell you trendy products and supplements and based on pseudo-science. It is difficult to obtain evidence-based information. Medical research spends only 3.4% of their funding on nutritional studies annually but the majority is focused on revenue producing supplements. The food industry is interested in wealth rather than health. So what IS a healthy diet? Despite the sea of information it is hard to sort out what foods to eat, and if supplements help at all.

One answer is a program led by Nurse Practitioner Carol Penfield that can provide you with sound medical and behavioral advice to guide you to weight loss and a healthier you! It is the Complete Health Improvement Program called “C.H.I.P.” which has helped over 65,000 people during the past 25 years. The CHIP medical and nutrition experts continuously review medical studies and sort through evidence-based literature in order to provide sound information that is easy to understand and follow. It is a comprehensive program that leads to lifelong change and may be covered by your insurance.

Learn more about the CHIP program at the following

FREE information session open to the public:
Sat. Jan. 3rd at 11am.
Only at the Chatham Health & Swim Club.
508-945-3555. info@chathamhealthclub.com

The CHIP program is a safe and successful opportunity you don’t want to miss!

What will your last 10 years look like?