SALT LAKE CITY-- In addition to regular exercise, Intermountain Healthcare’s Lindsay Park, a registered dietician at Alta View Hospital, said what people choose to eat each day impacts longevity.
She said the leading causes of death in the United States are chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and various types of cancer.
Park said nutrition plays a role. “We know that with maintaining healthy weight and reducing inflammation, we can help prevent chronic diseases,” she explained.
She tells people to avoid processed foods and meats, anything high in sugar or salt, and baked goods. Park said this will help reduce inflammation in the body.
Park said both the Mediterranean and Okinawa lifestyles promote longevity.
She said the Mediterranean diet consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lots of olive oil, and very little red meats and processed foods.
Park said the Okinawa diet is also very plant focused. “They're eating about seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day, [and] about seven servings of whole grains every day,” she explained.
Park said the diets incorporate foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, walnuts, chia and hemp seeds, and foods loaded with antioxidants like berries and dark leafy greens.
She said people who follow this lifestyle cut out added salt and sugar and use spices instead to flavor their foods. "Oregano and turmeric, and cinnamon and ginger, they all have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation,” she said.