From the Seattle Times/AP:
Here are the seven secrets to a long life: Stay away from cigarettes. Keep a slender physique. Get some exercise. Eat a healthful diet and keep your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar in check.
Research shows that most 50-year-olds who do that can live an additional 40 years free of stroke and heart disease, two of the most common killers, said Dr. Clyde Yancy, president of the American Heart Association. The heart association published the advice online Wednesday in the journal Circulation.
The group also introduced an online quiz to help people gauge how close they are to the ideal. Tips are offered for those who fall short.
“These seven factors — if you can keep them ideal or control them — end up being the fountain of youth for your heart,” said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, a cardiologist who was lead author of the statement.
Specifically, those with ideal cardiovascular health can answer yes to the following seven questions:
• Never smoked or quit more than one year ago.
• Body mass index under 25.
• Get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week.
• Meet at least four of these dietary recommendations: eat 4 1/2 cups of fruit and vegetables a day; eat two or more 3.5-ounce servings a week of fish; drink no more than 36 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages a week; eat three or more 1-ounce servings of fiber-rich whole grains a day; consume less than 1,500 milligrams a day of salt.
• Total cholesterol of less than 200.
• Blood pressure below 120/80.
• Fasting blood glucose less than 100.