By Dr. Jack Rutherford
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found you can slash your risk of early death by doing four key lifestyle behaviors. The researchers followed more than 6,000 people of different genders and races for more than 7 years and found that those who exercised regularly, did not smoke, maintained a healthy weight, and ate a Mediterranean-style diet reduced the chances of developing heart disease and overall risk of death from all causes by more than 80 percent.
The Mediterranean diet has garnered considerable media attention over the past several years because of its amazing heart-healthy properties. Two prevailing features characterize this diet?lots of plant foods and healthy fats. Specifically, the Mediterranean-style diet calls for:
• Fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, and olives
• Moderate amounts of olive oil, fish, yogurt, eggs, whole grains and red wine
• Minimal amounts of red meat, sugar and sweets, processed foods, and refined grains
We have more control over our own health than we might think. And this study is just one of many examples that show the power of taking charge of your lifestyle.