‘You have 91 percent control over whether you age healthily’

‘You have 91 percent control over whether you age healthily’
‘You have 91 percent control over whether you age healthily’

Good health almost always starts with healthy eating. This is what professor and nutritionist Andreas Michalsen says in Die Welt. According to him, genes play a much smaller role than previously thought and nutrition is the most important factor in preventing diseases.

Nutrition determines

Of course, there are families in which cardiovascular disease occurs repeatedly over several generations, says Michalsen: “But that is often because unhealthy habits are passed on. Self-conditioning. If a family has gotten into the habit of always eating a piece of cream cake in the afternoon, then this is not a genetic but a social component. The conclusion is often drawn incorrectly. Too little sleep, an unhealthy diet, not fasting, too little exercise: three heart attacks in a family are much more likely to be due to shared lifestyle habits than to genes.”

Culprit: processed food

According to the professor, the fact that so many people are overweight is mainly due to ‘industrial food’. “If I try to summarize the scientific data, it’s not just sugar, it’s not just cholesterol, it’s not just lack of exercise.

What is consistent is the fact that our food is increasingly processed industrially. We cook less and less at home and instead we eat ready-made preserved foods enriched with additives. I don’t want to scare anyone, but it is a fact that we are also ingesting more and more pesticides, insecticides, heavy metals and microplastics through our food.”

That leaves you wanting more…

It is known that food manufacturers do their best to make products extra tasty, so that you will eat more of them. Michalsen cites a study by Kevin Hall. He received a ‘study hotel’ from the American National Institutes of Health. A group of people were housed there, fully monitored for four weeks and fed special food.

Everything was analyzed, from their bowel movements to the air they exhaled: “A scientific experiment with maximum meaning. The subjects received the same proportions of fat, carbohydrates, salt, protein, fiber and vitamins in their diets and were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. However, half of the participants received all this in the form of highly processed products.

The result: these test subjects consumed 500 kilocalories more per day than those who were allowed to eat natural food. That is 3500 kilocalories per week and, extrapolated over a year, 20 kilos more body weight, just because the food was prepared in an energy-rich way. That is the formula for quickly becoming obese.”

Getting used to new flavors

Michalsen understands that people attach importance to tasty things and recommends a transition period of three months to a healthier diet to get used to different flavors: carrot salad simply tastes different from pizza.

“I don’t want to patronize anyone, but it’s not fun to wake up in pain after a certain age,” he says. “I don’t want to rob anyone of their schnitzel. But if you eat consciously, you can really enjoy the last 30 years of your life. If you do it right, maybe even 50 years.”

Main role: legumes

And what does he recommend to put on the table? “Legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas. In addition, consistently eat whole grains instead of white flour varieties, including pasta. And in third place come nuts and seeds. Furthermore, very little sausage, meat, sweets and alcohol. More fruits and vegetables instead.”

A richly filled salad for lunch is very healthy. However? Certainly, but it often also contains unexpected fatteners. Dietitian Wendy explains what these are and suggests a few slimmer alternatives.

Source: Die Welt

The article is in Dutch

Tags: percent control age healthily


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