Can a balanced diet prevent aging and age-related disease?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
In medical school, we were taught that if you ate a balanced diet, you would get enough of everything you needed, including vitamins and minerals -- but this was not actually correct. Of the more than five million people who have taken the nutrition portion of the RealAge (physiologic age) program on our Web site, most -- well over 99% of those in America -- don't eat a good enough diet to get the RealAge Optimum (the dose you need to stay young) of vitamins and minerals necessary for preventing aging and age-related disease.
Rose Reisman
Nutrition & Dietetics
A healthy lifestyle, including what you eat, has a large impact on your aging and age-related diseases.

As we age, our bodies need fewer calories, so having a nutrient-rich diet is even more vital. Staying active and eating good quality nutrients can help slow the aging process and help prevent age-related diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease.

There are certain foods that are full of nutrients and antioxidants which are great to include in your diet for anti-aging and age-related disease prevention. These include:
  • Blueberries reduce inflammation and oxidative damage to help prevent memory loss and decreased motor functions.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil holds monounsaturated fats, polyphenols, and antioxidants that may prevent heart disease and cancer.
  • Almonds and other nuts are full of unsaturated fats and concentrated source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which decrease bad cholesterol and may reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Bitter sweet chocolate (70% cocoa or more) is rich with flavanols which lower high blood pressure, and help prevent risk of dementia, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Greek yogurt is rich in calcium which helps prevent osteoporosis and contains good bacteria which helps prevent age-related intestinal illness. Greek yogurt also contains more protein. Avoid those with added sugar or sugar substitutes.
Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
We will all age and grow older but a balanced diet should be your first line of defense against disease as you age. Eating a balanced diet along with not smoking, getting plenty of exercise, consuming alcohol in moderation, is the key to preventing age related disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.