Updated September 21st 2020
What is a Healthy Lifestyle?
A healthy lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve your health and well-being. There are many different things that you can do to live a healthy lifestyle, such as eating healthy, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing your stress. However, a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about healthy eating and exercise, it also about taking care of the “whole you” – your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. And that means taking care of you from the inside out.
How To Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Even though there are many common ways to live a healthy lifestyle, actually doing it looks different for everyone and means something different from one person to the next. Regardless of what you choose to do, living a healthy lifestyle is a key component to disease prevention, wellness, and longevity.
Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a massive study of the impact of healthy lifestyle habits on life expectancy, using data from the well-known Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). This means that they had data on a huge number of people over a very long period of time. The NHS included over 78,000 women and followed them from 1980 to 2014. The HPFS included over 40,000 men and followed them from 1986 to 2014. This is over 120,000 participants, 34 years of data for women, and 28 years of data for men.
The researchers looked at NHS and HPFS data on healthy lifestyle diet, healthy lifestyle exercise, body weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption that had been collected from regularly administered, validated questionnaires. These five areas were chosen because prior studies have shown them to have a large impact on risk of premature death. Here is how these healthy lifestyle habits were defined and measured:
Healthy Lifestyle Diet
This was calculated and rated based on the reported intake of healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, and omega-3 fatty acids, and unhealthy foods like red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium.
Healthy Lifestyle Exercise
This was defined as at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity daily.
Defined as a normal body mass index (BMI), which is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Healthy Living & Smoking
There is no healthy amount of smoking. “Healthy” here meant never having smoked.
Healthy Living & alcohol intake
Measured as between 5 and 15 grams per day for women, and 5 to 30 grams per day for men. Generally, one drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol. That’s 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
Researchers also looked at data on age, ethnicity, and medication use, as well as comparison data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research.
Healthy Lifestyle Benefits
As it turns out, healthy habits make a big difference. According to this analysis, people who met criteria for all five habits enjoyed significantly, impressively longer lives than those who had none: 14 years for women and 12 years for men (if they had these habits at age 50). People who had none of these habits were far more likely to die prematurely from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Study investigators also calculated life expectancy by how many of these five healthy habits people had. Just one healthy habit (and it didn’t matter which one) … just one… extended life expectancy by two years in men and women. Not surprisingly, the more healthy habits people had, the longer their lifespan.
This is huge. And, it confirms prior similar research — a lot of prior similar research. A 2017 study using data from the Health and Retirement Study found that people 50 and older who were normal weight, had never smoked, and drank alcohol in moderation lived on average seven years longer. A 2012 mega-analysis of 15 international studies that included over 500,000 participants found that over half of premature deaths were due to unhealthy lifestyle factors. In summary these are poor diet, inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, and smoking. And the list of supporting research goes on.
How Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil Supports A Healthy Lifestyle
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is probably the most extensively researched foodstuff on the planet and it’s health benefits are evidence based. Extra virgin olive oil has an extensive list of phytonutrients; one of the most praised is its polyphenols. The amount of polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil is truly amazing!
Types Of Polyphenols
There are a number of different types of polyphenols in Extra Virgin olive oil, including oleuropein, tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, oleocanthal and oleacein. Each are considered extremely strong antioxidants, and are linked to a number of different benefits. For instance:
- Maintenance of normal blood pressure
- Keeping the upper respiratory tract healthy
- Protecting proteins in the brain that are involved in memory, learning and thinking
- Helping to keep blood sugar under control
- Treating the symptoms of and/or preventing type 2 diabetes
- Protecting blood lipids from oxidative damage
- Acting as an anti-inflamatory
The Healthiest Of Fats
According to the American Heart Association, dietary fats are an essential part of a healthy living diet, as fats provide energy, improve cell growth, absorption of nutrients, and create important hormones. Not only does olive oil consist mainly of healthy monounsaturated fats, but it is also the only fat that contains high levels of polyphenols. In conclusion this makes extra virgin olive oil without question the healthiest of all fats.