Join the Century Club
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More and more Americans are living to 100. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Americans 100 years old or older increased by nearly 41 percent between 2000 and 2014. “For the average American, about 20 percent of life expectancy is genes, and the other 80 percent is lifestyle,” says Dan Beuttner, author of the book The Blue Zones, an exploration of five places around the world that have the highest populations of people who live to 100. “Healthy habits can help eliminate the diseases that tend to shorten your life—such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.” Here are the lifestyle changes that seem to make the most impact.
Swap out red meat
You don’t have to become a strict vegetarian—in fact, research has shown that swapping out some of your servings of red meat for high-quality plant protein (such as soy or legumes), can reduce your cholesterol levels. Other studies have found that making those healthy swaps can significantly lower your risk of premature death—especially from heart disease. If you’re looking for good sources of plant protein, here are 15.
Eat even more fruits and veggies
You already know you need to eat your fruits and veggies, but did you know that skimping on them could lead to an earlier demise? A 2017 study found that an astounding 5.6 to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide stem from people eating less than 500 grams of fruit (approximately two servings) and 800 grams of vegetables (about 3.5 servings) daily. Check out 8 things that happen to your body when you don’t eat enough fruits and veggies.