Medical Learning Library

Online Guide for Living a Longer, Healthier Life

For as long as there have been humans on this planet, people have wanted to live much longer and healthier. This is only a natural preoccupation when adults grow older and eventually have to face the inevitability of mortality. In recent decades though, as more and more emphasis has been put on eating healthy and staying healthy in society, younger people are beginning to explore how they can lead longer and healthier lives. Living longer is now realistically possible for anyone, it only requires commitment.

Living a longer and healthier life begins with something as simple as adopting a proper, dietary habit. Food intake is vital because it provides people’s bodies with the necessary energy and nutrition to nourish and sustain bodily processes over the long haul. After people eat food, it is digested with the help of chemical enzymes. When this occurs, the energy that people need for power and nourishment is released into their bodies.

If proper and healthy foods are not consumed a person’s body will be deprived of essential nutrients, build up excessive unhealthy components such as fat, and become unable to sustain normal functions. This is already a huge problem in America since research has shown that obese people account for more than 33 percent of all Americans. Other studies have shown that as much as 75 percent of Americans are overweight. Therefore, keeping an appropriate body weight is necessary for long life and optimum health.

Possessing good dietary habits leads to a longer and healthier life. Forming good dietary habits can be done by using a guide such as the Food Pyramid. According to this Food Pyramid, good dietary habits are formed by eating certain foods in the recommended amount of servings. The Food Pyramid is a guide for a balanced diet which is part of a better health initiative from the U.S. federal government. Various studies also support the reality that good dietary habits enable people to lead longer and healthier lives.

A healthy diet consists of a big fraction of pasta, cereals, rice and bread, with as many as six to eleven servings being eaten each day. Fruits and vegetables are also quite important, though quite less than the energy providing basic carbohydrates such as pasta, cereals, rice and bread. Fruits and vegetables should be eaten every day in servings that should not exceed up to five times a day. People who want to live longer and healthier should consume dairy products between two and three times each day for adequate calcium. While meat, fish and eggs should only be eaten up to four times a day for iron, protein, zinc and a number of vitamins.

Other things also contribute to people living longer and healthier lives. Primarily, this includes exercise because it is not enough to only eat right without incorporating the proper amount of exercise. Exercise should be started in such a way that does not radically engage a person in hazardous and abrupt exertion which means that exercise should first be started slowly and then gradually increased. Exercise has a lot of benefits for many different parts of the body such as the lungs, heart and muscles. Some results of regular exercise include burning up extra calories, relieving stress and tension and improving one’s coordination. Exercise can be formal like when it takes on the form of aerobics classes, cycling or swimming activities done with commitment and intention. It can also be very informal, such as when one walks up the stairs to their office instead of taking the elevator.

In addition to eating healthy and getting adequate exercise, it is also vital for a person to eliminate bad habits that are self-destructive, in terms of health, for these habits will impede a person’s longevity and health. Examples of common bad habits that may pose a challenge for people to eliminate completely are smoking and drinking alcohol. It is counter-productive to eat right and get adequate exercise but then reverse the positive health effects with bad habits like smoking and drinking. Smoking can cause all sorts of health problems such as cancer, lung problems and even problems such as yellow-stained teeth that may take a toll on someone’s self-image. Alcohol can be just as deadly, because if it doesn’t end up destroying one’s internal organs - especially the liver - it may impair judgment that can cause all sorts of hazards.

Many people want to live longer and healthier. The problem is that some people refuse to have the discipline and the commitment to make the necessary lifestyle adjustments in their lives. People who are able to channel their will in such a way that they can show self-control and discipline to eat right, exercise, and cut out bad habits will see good results. They are most likely to live longer and healthier lives than people who do not.

To learn more about living longer and healthier, see these links:

An ACLS Guide to Answering Your Cholesterol Questions

A waxy steroid of fat, cholesterol is made in the intestines or in the liver. Cholesterol is transmitted through the blood plasma of a person, and it is utilized to make cell membranes and hormones. It is a fundamental part of the structural component of human cell membranes. Cholesterol is important for the body because it produces bile acidVitamin D and even steroid hormones. However,excessive cholesterol in one’s blood is harmful to the human body, as high levels of cholesterol are associated with diseases like heart disease and damaged arteries.

The purpose of cholesterol is both to maintain and create membranes: Cholesterol regulates the membrane fluidity in the human bodyacross the range of bodily temperatures. Cholesterol is also recycled by way of being first excreted by one’s liver (through the bile), from where it goes into the digestive tract. Almost half of all excreted cholesterol is reabsorbed into the bloodstream courtesy of the small bowel. People need cholesterol in their bodies due to the need for particular hormones, cell membrane production, and various bodily functions. Cholesterol is not always bad; there is even so-called “good cholesterol” known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Cholesterol comes in both good and bad versions. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as “good cholesterol,” while “bad cholesterol” is known by the opposite term of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL cholesterol actually transports excessive cholesterol away from one’s arteries and to the liver, where that cholesterol is taken away from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol are actually favorable because they help to protect a person from the risk of heart attacks. To this end, HDL cholesterol levels in excess of 60 mg/dL might shield a person from getting heart disease, while having HDL cholesterol levels lower than 45 mg/dL actually might raise the chance of getting heart disease. Bad cholesterol clogs arteries and raises the chance that one might suffer a stroke in his or her life. Bad cholesterol can also eventually lead to a ruinous condition called atherosclerosis, so it is advised that one keeps his or her LDL cholesterol level beneath 100 mg/dL.

On the other hand, very low-density lipoprotein, or VLDL, is known as a kind of lipoprotein that is manufactured by the liver. This type of lipoprotein is known as being one of the five main types of lipoprotein. The purpose of VLDL is to move cholesterol and also phospholipids and triglycerides through one’s bloodstream. VLDL is regarded as the human body’s internal transmission system for lipids.

Triglycerides are viewed as esters that come from three fatty acids and also glycerol. An ester is a chemical compound obtained by getting a reaction between a hydroxyl compound (like phenol or even alcohol) and an oxoacid. Triglycerides are also the major component of animal fats and of vegetable oil. Like high levels of bad cholesterol, triglycerides have been associated with the onset of atherosclerosis; because of its association with atherosclerosis, triglycerides are therefore also associated with a greater risk of causing heart disease and even stroke in a person.

Cholesterol levels in the human body are affected by a multitude of various factors. Saturated fat in foods that are eaten can increase bad cholesterol in the body, while being overweight also adds to the risk of heart disease because bad cholesterol is increased. At times, one cannot avoid or reduce how certain factors increase cholesterol levels, and this is certainly true regarding the factor of age: Cholesterol increases as one ages. Similarly, one can just be unlucky in getting bad genes that account for heightened levels of bad cholesterol, and even particular types of medication can increase cholesterol, too.

While cholesterol can be a daunting problem for a person, this is only the case if one does nothing to stave off out-of-control cholesterol levels. However, with the right attitude, determination and some common sense measures, one can do a great deal to ensure that cholesterol does not get too high in the body. For example, one can get a certain amount of cardiovascular exercise a few times a week, such as walking or running for up to 30 minutes each time, which really makes a difference in keeping high levels of bad cholesterol at bay. Another example of some good advice to help keep high levels of cholesterol at bay is to watch what one eats. For instance, one can keep their levels of cholesterol down by purposely choosing low-cholesterol foods, which includes choosing foods that have low amounts of saturated fats.

Written by and last updated Mar 17, 2017

Last reviewed by on Oct 11, 2016