Reduced risk of premature death with plant protein

A study released today by the Journal of the American Heart Association found that “Older women who ate more plant protein had lower risk of premature, dementia related death.” The main takeaway is that “Substituting red meat, eggs or dairy products with nuts was associated with a significantly lower risk of death from all causes”.

  • Compared to postmenopausal women who had the least amount of plant protein intake, those with the highest amount of plant protein intake had a 9% lower risk of death from all causes, a 12% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of dementia-related death.
  • Higher consumption of processed red meat was associated with a 20% higher risk of dying from dementia.
  • Higher consumption of unprocessed meat, eggs and dairy products was associated with a 12%, 24% and 11% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, respectively.
  • Higher consumption of eggs was associated with a 10% higher risk of death due to cancer.
  • However, higher consumption of eggs was associated with a 14% lower risk of dying from dementia, while higher poultry consumption was associated with a 15% lower risk.

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Source

Exercise to reduce risk of chronic disease

The World Health Organization just updated their recommendations related to exercise.

In adults, physical activity confers benefits for the following health outcomes: improved
all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, incident hypertension, incident sitespecific cancers, incident type-2 diabetes, mental health (reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression); cognitive health, and sleep; measures of adiposity may also improve.
Source

For those 65+, regular physical activity is recommended. “As part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do varied multicomponent physical activity that emphasizes functional balance and strength training at moderate or greater intensity, on 3 or more days a week to enhance functional capacity and to prevent falls.”

The guidelines stress that some activity is better than none – start small with something that you’re comfortable with and build on that…over time you can increase the frequency, intensity and duration of your workouts.

***This isn’t medical advice, always check with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program and consider working with a trainer to make sure you’re using proper form***

Why Keep a Journal?

Do you journal? This is one that I resisted for a long time. Once I started seeing benefits for myself, I started implementing it with some of my patients to rave reviews. If you’re a skeptic like I was, worry that the effort isn’t worth the time, or just need a little nudge to get started, here are some of the myriad benefits:

  • Stress relief : See here and here
  • Improved memory: Journaling can boost memory and comprehension, as well as working  memory capacity, which may reflect improved cognitive processing. Source
  • Clarifies goals and courses of action to achieve them: “Journaling about your goals helps you clarify what you want and encourages you to consider the why and how, not just the what.” Source
  • Promotes creativity
  • Encourages a sense of gratitude
  • And many more!

Here’s a quick journaling exercise as a place to start. I strongly recommend pen & paper over a computer, tablet or smartphone.

A quick workout

Here’s my quick ~25 minute workout -download the Tabata Pro timer app, set at 1 minute of work, 20 seconds of rest for 3rounds:

  • Push ups
  • Squat to alternating side leg raise
  • Overhead dumbbell crunch to triceps extension
  • Alternating step back lunge with kickthru
  • Chest fly
  • Burpee
  • Reverse fly
  • Wide leg squat to front row

(Ask your doc of exercising is right for you & stop /seek medical attention immediately if you feel at all unwell, dizzy, etc)

Increased activity later in life can reduce mortality rates

https://www.popsci.com/older-adults-start-exercising

It’s never too late to get started & reap the benefits of exercise!

From this article: “Those who upped their activity in their 30s, 40s, and 50s had mortality rates 32 to 35 percent lower than the control group – just as much as those who exercised from adolescence straight through their 60s. That was true even after researchers factored in whether people smoked, their educational level, race, alcohol consumption, diet, and several other confounders that would influence mortality and could correlate with physical activity level”.