HOW to be healthy, in just 48 words:

Daytime television talk shows, popular podcasts, and diet books on the New York Times best-seller list would have you believe that being healthy is complicated.

You need to eat the latest superfood, buy the perfect supplements or join the hippiest fitness cult. These theories are particularly popular right now, as people commit to New Year's resolutions.

But after practicing family medicine for 16 years, with a focus on nutrition and obesity, I've learned that the keys to good health are quite simple to describe. In fact, I believe the best health advice can be boiled down to 48 words.

So what are these 48 words? In no particular order:

.- Don't smoke [2]
.- Get vaccinate [4]
.- Avoid trans fats [7]
.- Replace saturated fats with unsaturated if you can [15]
.- Cook from whole ingredients - and minimize restaurant meals [23]
.- Minimize ultraprocessed foods [26]
.- Cultivate relationships [28]
.- Nurture sleep [30]
.- Drink alcohol at most moderately [35]
.- Exercise as often as you can enjoy [42]
.- Drink only the calories you love [48]

There's not much that needs to be said here. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death, including 480,000 deaths per year in the united States alone.

If you're not a smoker, don't start.

The world is facing outbreaks of vaccine=preventable diseases that had been well on their way to eradication. Take measles, which in 2018 killed 140,000 people worldwide, with most of the fatalities occurring in children under the age of 5.

Or influenza, which is responsible for between 290,000 and 650,000 global deaths per year. Ensure your children receive their full vaccination schedules. including the HPV vaccine, and everyone an annual flu shot.

And check with your physician that your vaccinations are are up to date and that you don't require any boosting or adult vaccines, such as those that prevent shingles or pneumonia.

Nonnaturally occurring trans fats increase your risk of heart disease. Though products often claim to be free from trans fats, labeling laws allow them to make that claim if they contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. To be certain have a peek at the ingredient list, and if you see ''partially hydrogenated'' on it, put it back on the shelf.

Though you need not get hung up on the total fat content of your diet, whenever possible, you should substitute unsaturated fats [e.g., olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and fish] for saturated fats [e.g., meat dairy].

This is a point of consensus between the staunch low-carbohydrate diet and advocate David Ludwig and the whole-grain proponent Walter Willett.

The honor and serving of this latest research on Health and Diet continues. to Part 2. The World Students Society thanks Associate Professor Yoni Freedhoff, University of Ottawa.


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