🔍 Sneak Peek: Dr. Greger’s New Book, “How Not to Age” 📚 — Part 2

It’s here! Dr. Michael Greger’s new masterwork is now officially out in stores everywhere! 🎉

It’s Dr. Greger’s third book in the series he started with How Not to Die in 2015, and How Not to Diet in 2019.  Now in 2023, he addresses an age-old question and desire: How Not to Age (HNTA) 👴🚫.

Per the playful wordplay in Dr. Greger’s book titles, maximizing our healthspan is like an artful zig-zag in winning a race 🏁. First, we need to sidestep the no-nos like foolish fads that knock us off our health game. And then run to the rhythms of science-backed, evidence-based health habits that clearly work. 🌿💪

For over a decade, Dr. G and his superhero team at NutritionFacts.org have donned the Cape of Clarity 🦸‍♂️🔍 to help us not only beat the clock, but enjoy the trip: By reading thousands of health and nutrition science papers 📚, finding the most credible and actionable ones, and presenting them as easily digestible advice and guidelines for us to quickly understand 🧠💡.

And then every few years, Dr. G embarks on a deep dive into a big health topic, resurfacing with a big book of current evidence-based health science 🔬.  Here, HNTA is his biggest work yet, distilling over 13,000 references on anti-aging, into actionable advice. 💫

So what’s in How Not to Age?

The book is divided into 4 large parts: 

  1. The 11 pathways of your aging — and how to block them 🛑 See our summary of Part 1
  2. What your optimal anti-aging regimen entails 💃🥗
  3. How to preserve your vital systems: from bones, to immunity, to sex life, to dignity 💪
  4. The anti-aging 8: foods and practices that have the greatest anti-aging effects 🥦

Does that sound intriguing, and need-to-know? 😉

🕵️‍♂️ Let’s get into Part 2: Your optimal anti-aging regimen

Zooming Out: The Healthiest Categories of Foods & Beverages 🥦🍵

Part 2 of HNTA asks the broad, ten thousand foot questions first: What are the healthiest kinds of foods, per science? 🥦 And the unhealthiest? 🍔

Perhaps it’s no surprise to our LeafSiders: the number 1 risk, and the most modifiable risk factor for aging and healthspan, is diet.

The giant study known as the Global Burden of Disease (GBD), with almost 500 researchers from over 300 institutions, found that the number one killer of Americans is the typical American diet 🇺🇸🍟 (tobacco is number 2).

And from the same GBD study, the 4 of the top 5 top dietary risk factors? Not eating enough vegetables🥬, nor fruits🍇, nor nuts and seeds🥜, nor whole grains🌾.

Another high-level view is this key quote from HNTA, summarizing a big review-of-reviews of foods from the scientific literature:

“If only there were a review of reviews for different foods. There is! An exhaustive review of meta-analyses and systematic reviews on the associations between food and beverage groups and major diet-related chronic diseases was finally published. To offer the broadest takeaway, the researchers first split the food groups into plant-based 🌱 and animal-based 🥩 foods. The vast majority (93 percent) of reviews on whole plant foods show either protective or, at the very least, neutral effects, whereas most (77 percent) reviews of animal-based foods identified deleterious health effects or, at best, neutral effects.”

It’s just one more forest-level view of tens of thousands of trees/studies, supporting a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet as the healthiest for humans. Much more detail is available in the book!

Other highlights in Part 2 about foods and beverages:

  • Stick with WFPB eating most or all of the time. Minimize processed foods, and animal foods, and sodium (ideally under 1500 mg per day).
  • Water is the healthiest beverages 💧; just be sure to do some filtering of your water.
  • Tea and coffee are the next healthiest beverages ☕🍵.
  • Avoid alcohol, soda, and sugary drinks 🚫🍺🥤.

Lessons from the Longest-Lived Peoples 🌍👵📚

Next in Part 2 of HNTA, Dr. G covers what the longest lived peoples (with the highest documented percentage of people over 100) on Earth eat, plucking out the healthiest eating choices from each of the world’s Blue Zones — which we shared about earlier this year.  Here are the quick highlights for you:

  • Blue Zones peoples eat 95 to 100% plant-based, with little to no processed foods. 🌱
  • Beans are the one food in common eaten regularly by all Blue Zones communities, from Okinawa to Sardinia to the Seventh Day Adventists in the USA. 🌾
  • Water is the main beverage. 💧
  • Nuts are the snack of choice. 🥜
  • Fish, eggs, sugar, and dairy are rarely eaten, or not at all. 🐟🥚🚫🥛
  • Olive oil should be used sparingly; and it’s quite difficult to get truly extra virgin olive oil. 🫒
  • Sweet potatoes are awesome. 🙂 So are sea veggies, soybeans (tempeh, tofu, miso), mushrooms.  And garlic, ginger, and turmeric. 🍠🌊🍄🧄🌿
  • Make breakfast or lunch the largest meal of the day. 🥗
  • Ensure you’re getting B12, use a supplement too. 💊

For all the healthy and delectable details, you’ll need to get the book. 😄📖

Beyond Food 🌿🏃‍♀️💤

Dr. G spends the last section in Part 2 looking at non-food/beverage lifestyle habits that convey healthspan benefits.  Here are the highlights:

  • 🤝❤️ Social connection is important, e.g. married people and those with active community/social activity live longer.
  • 🚶‍♀️🍃 Exercise is medicine: It’s absolutely clear it improves and maintains health, including muscle mass, balance, mobility, cognition, mood, and overall quality of life.  The minimum should be 15 minutes of walking per day, or around 4,400 steps.  The upper limit of physical activity is still unclear, but most of us are far from that end of the risk spectrum. Oh, and a plant based diet is most helpful with recovery and endurance. 😉
  • 🥦⚖️ Your waistline is your lifeline: the ideal BMI for longevity is 20 to 22, and independent of BMI, a larger waist generally means a shorter life.  Oh, and plant based diets are the most effective diet for sustained weight reduction and control known to science.
  • 🛌 Sleep is vital, of course.  Warm showers before sleeping can help, as can melatonin-rich foods like kiwi, and tart cherries. 🥝🍒
  • 🧘‍♂️ Stress-management: Too many people use sugary, fatty, processed foods to cope with stress; or worse still, alcohol or drugs.  A healthy diet, exercise, and mindfulness practices are the most effective long-term guards against getting overwhelmed. 🍏

There’s a LOT More in HNTA

Dr. Greger’s latest book is a sizable, sweeping survey of the entire field of anti-aging interventions — the above is just a high-level quick view of Part 2 of 4.

Despite all the nerdy science and studies, the underlying message is clear, and empowering: You can choose to slow at least 80% of your aging, every day, several times per day!  Many twin studies 👯‍♀️ have made clear that choosing your foods and exercise matters a lot more than choosing your parents.

Stay tuned, in, and on the LeafSide, for a lot more about HNTA over the coming weeks and months!

Oh, and if you want to start a much healthier lifestyle ASAP, with almost no effort…

LeafSide Promotes Plant-Strong Longevity

LeafSide’s 100% whole food plant-based meals align perfectly with Dr. Greger’s recommendations and guidelines. ✅

LeafSide helps you eat and enjoy a wide variety of whole plant foods quickly and easily — just add water! And in 10 minutes or less, you’ll have a delicious, filling, complete meal, absolutely chock-full of high-quality ingredients, majority organic. 🍓🍠🍒🥦🥕

Our mission is to make healthy, plant-based eating easy for anyone, to fully enjoy a longevity-friendly diet — while freeing up your time for all the other activities that make (a long) life worth living, like exercising and socializing! 🚴 👯‍♀️  🎉

“Thanks to LeafSide, I’m not only alive, I’m healthy!! Thank you. 74 years on April 11th. You guys have no idea how much I appreciate LeafSide.” — Vahan T.


Please note: This article is based on Dr. Greger’s forthcoming book, “How Not To Age,” and other reference articles. The content herein does not constitute medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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