4 Mistakes That Can Be Cutting Your Life Short

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the National Institute on Aging ran dueling calorie-deprivation tests on primates, which live to an average age of 25, to see if less food equals longer life. They agreed that cutting calories by 30% improved the monkeys’ health (by cutting cancer and heart-disease risk), but on living longer, they didn’t see eye to eye.

But not long ago, they came to their senses, pooled their data, and finally announced this: Yes, eating less upped the monkeys’ lifespan about 15%, but only if: 1) their calories were restricted starting at an older age (post-teens was best), and 2) they ate whole, nonprocessed foods.

But what constitutes “less food” for primates like us? Calorie-restriction cheerleaders advise cutting food intake by about 20%. Any more, and—unless malnutrition is your goal—you’ll want to discuss with your doc first. Of course, if you don’t want to live longer, here’s how to do it.

Burying your face in fast food

fast food

Around 30% of fast-food wrappers, boxes, etc. contain potentially cancer-causing fluorinated chemicals that have been shown to migrate into food and then into our bodies, according to research published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. So, basically, they’re just as bad as the junk that comes in them.

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