Healthy Eating – Ali Sheybani, MD


People are living longer than ever in the
United States and healthy aging is a very
hot topic for baby boomers everywhere. We
spoke with Dr. Ali Sheybani at Valley Presbyterian
Hospital in the San Fernando Valley who talks
about the key to healthy aging.
The key to healthy aging is healthy lifestyle
and there are a few things that we can advise
to older adults to have a better and healthier
life as they’re agiing. One is, don’t smoke,
eat a balanced diet. Keep your mind and body
active, get regular check-ups and practice
safety habits. It’s never too late to make
a healthier lifestyle choice. What we usually
advise to older adults to choose the foods
that has a lot of nutrients :like fruit and
vegetables fat free or low fat milk which
is fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Use
seafood lean meat, poultry or eggs, seeds,
nuts and whole wheat or whole grain. The foods
that we don’t recommend for older adults,
the ones that has fewer nutrients and high
calorie like white rice, pasta which is from
refined grain or white bread or sugar added
to the dessert or drinks. By eating healthy
food you can prevent heart disease, stroke,
Type 2 diabetes which is very common in the
community, anemia bone loss and some kinds
of cancer. Exercise is very important, there
are some confusion about physical activity
and exercise. Physical activity is just the
simple things as walking the dog or gardening
or using the stairs, but exercise is structured,
planned, repetitive movements that you do
and the combination both is very important.
You need to do some type of exercise or physical
activity that increases you breathing and
increases your heart rate and there are a
lot of studies that show that if you do less
than 10 minutes of any kind of exercise, it
wouldn’t be a beneficial for your health.
It has to be at least 30 minutes of moderate
intensity exercises, almost everyday and I
always recommend to do different types of
exercises everyday. Like you can do endurance
exercise you can do strengthening exercies
and you can do balance and flexibility exercises.
I had a patient, he was about 68 years old:
smoking, obese, his body mass index was about
32 and he came to me, he had diabetes, Type
2 already and high blood pressure. After 6
months, he lost about 25 pounds by just eating
healthy and low calorie diet and I guided
him for the physical activity and he start
as little as 5 minutes at the beginning and
then added up gradually to the point that
he was doing like 45 minutes of brisk walking
everyday plus weight training and bicycling
and then after 6 months, his diabetes were
perfectly under control without medication.
His blood pressure came back to normal levels
and he was feeling much healthier and happy
inside and out. Remember to eat healthy and
include physical activity and exercise because
it’s never to late to make healthier lifestyle
choices. For the American Health Journal,
I’m Lora Windsor.

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