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You May Have More Control Over Aging Than You Think, Say ‘The Telomere Effect’ Authors

If you need a scientific reason for keeping your New Year’s resolutions to eat well, sleep better, exercise regularly and give up bad habits like smoking, StatNews has supplied it, with a report on telomeres, the end strands of DNA that help determine cellular aging and, ultimately, the aging of your body.

Telomeres protect vital information in your DNA structure. Your cells rejuvenate through replicating or reproducing. With each reproduction, the telomere protecting the end of the DNA strand becomes shorter and shorter, until finally the telomeres are so short the cells don’t function correctly.

Shortened telomeres are associated with poor immune response, biological aging and bone mineral density. Each of these are factors in how well you functionally and clinically age.

The good news is you can change your potential risk for premature shortening of telomeres with simple lifestyle changes that include good food choices, hydration and exercise. Among the food choices, it’s recently been shown that too much protein in your diet not only can contribute to your cancer risk, but can age you faster.

For longevity, aim for a diet high in healthy fats, low in net carbs, with moderate amounts of high quality protein, ideally no more than about 1 gram per kilo of lean body mass. Also be mindful that recent studies show that high-fat diets are superior for weight loss; calorie counting doesn’t work; exercise alone cannot combat obesity; saturated fat does not cause heart disease and meal frequency influences weight.
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