A new study published in the British Medical Journal, after following 23,000 Greeks for 8 years, reports that lower mortality is associated with moderate alcohol consumption, which is one glass of wine for women a day, eating two cups of vegetables, a cup of fruit, hand full of nuts and two tablespoons of olive oil a day, a quarter cup of beans a week, and eating little or no meat. Consumption of dairy, fish and grains did not seem to affect mortality, possibly because the study did not differentiate between whole vs processed grains, or low-fat vs full fat dairy.
So, basically, we should concentrate on eating vegetables, beans, nuts and fruits, use olive oil, and drink a little wine (with a meal.)
That seems so do-able, but what do we really eat? I have olive oil in my cabinet, but do I use it? Every day? How can I change my habits to increase the odds the oil winds up in my dishes? The challenge for me is to develop an automatic, unthinking, habitualy healthy diet. Because my normal unthinking diet relies on the vending machine at work and what few vegetables the Subway worker tosses on my sandwich.
For the last two weeks, I've been buying about $14.00 worth of fresh fruit and making a fruit salad with mint, almond extract and simple sugar (sugar dissolved in heated water). The salad lasts me about three days. That's a do-able habit, to get more fruit in, making a big fruit salad at the start of the week.
Last week I made some bean burgers, but, unfortunately, I failed to adequately rinse the Swiss chard, resulting in burgers with "real grit." Live and learn. Buying, preparing and consuming new vegetables takes practice.
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