Dr Rhonda Patrick is a biochemist and expert on diet and ageing. I recently listened to a talk of hers. My ears perked up two hours into it, when she described 4 simple changes to one’s diet that could dramatically improve your health. Here they are:
1. Cut out refined sugar. No more cookies, muffins, biscuits. chocolates, sweets, soft-drinks, ketchup. The stats are alarming: hundreds of thousands of people die every year from the added sugar in drinks alone which causes type-2 diabetes. One can of soda a day increases your chances of pre-diabetes by 46% and reduces your lifespan by 5 years. Not only that but refined sugars are as addictive as cocaine thanks to its quick dopamine high you get on consuming it. Cut.It.Out.
2. Time restricted eating. Only eat in a 9-12 hour window each day ideally starting earlier in the day. That means if you target a 10 hour time restricted eating window, then having breakfast at 8am means you must have your last mouthful of food by 6pm. Your body then has 14 hours for maintenance (much of it when you’re sleeping). Rhonda cited studies that showed that such practises reduced the recurrence of breast cancer in women by 36% with no change in diet. Another study showed that mice that consumed a high-sugar, high fat diet but followed a 12-hour time restricted eating window became 28% leaner and lost 70% of fat compared to mice that ate in a 15-hour window.
3. Triple your vegetable intake every day. Rhonda makes a veg smoothie that includes kale, berries, avocado, carrots and tomatoes. The important thing is that vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals. Deficiencies in these prevent metabolic processes that reduce the chances of cancer and neuro degeneration.
4. Take Vitamin D supplements. Rhonda targets 40-60 ng/ml and takes a supplement to reach those levels accordingly (you can be tested for your level). 70% of people are thought to be deficient, mainly because we spend so much time indoors and use sunscreen when we are outside. Vitamin D is essential for DNA repair. The right amount prolongs life, reduces infection risk by 50% and improves exercise performance by 30%.