Tips for Living Longer and Living Well - Dallas News |

Tips for Living Longer and Living Well

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It seems like everywhere you turn there are new promises on how to feel younger and live longer. Registered Dietitian Karin Hosenfeld of North Dallas Nutrition sheds some light on this topic.

1: Green isn't just for St. Patrick's Day

It's important to include rich green foods in your diet if you want to live long and stave off diseases. Kale in particular is considered a superfood primarily because of its high concentration of the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K that powerfully impact longevity. In fact, vitamin K is such a strong antioxidant that a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed it can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer. (Watch out! People who take certain medications need to stay away from vitamin K. Check with your doctor before adding kale or any green leafy vegetables to your diet).

TIP: Massage kale with a little bit of sea salt before using it raw in a recipe! It "relaxes" the leaf's membranes and softens the fibers. Kids love to massage kale. Put them to work!

2: To Multi or not to Multi?

While the best way to get vitamins and minerals is to eat a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods, most Americans don't get enough through food alone. Especially those over 50 with changing dietary needs. You see, as we age, our need for certain nutrients goes UP while our consumption goes DOWN. This poses a real problem. Multivitamins are what I consider "a little insurance policy" to fill dietary gaps on days when you may just not get what you need from food. When choosing a multi-vitamin for longevity, look for vitamins A, C , E and lutein (because they are important for supporting eye health) and B-vitamins (which help support normal brain and heart health). Vitamin B12 is of particular concern because as people age, they typically start consuming less meat, which is the best source of B12.

3: Avoid muscle wasting

One nutrient you CAN'T get from a multi-vitamin is protein. To keep muscles strong, a good rule of thumb is ½ g of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should consume roughly 75 grams of protein per day (more if you are physically active). This is a real issue because as people age, they tend to consume less and less protein from meat and other good sources. This can lead to muscle loss or "wasting". This is a particular problem because without good muscle tone, the risk of falling and breaking bones increases. You can help prevent this by adding more protein to your diet. I recommend cottage cheese because it's simple, delicious and versatile, so it's great as a snack, and for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has a whopping 13 grams of protein per half-cup serving.

4. Skip Added Sugars

Recent studies and reports have outlined the dangers of added sugars and that is a hot topic from the proposed new nutrition facts labels. ADDED sugar isn't good for you and it raises the risk of heart disease…talk about BAD for longevity(!), but people so often get confused and ask me ALL the time 'doesn't fruit have sugar?' Fruit and dairy do in fact have natural sugars. But it's ADDED sugars we are watching out for here.


Massaged Kale Salad


1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons honey

Freshly ground black pepper

1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)

Small handful toasted pepitas ( pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons


In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.

Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.

Per Serving: Calories 269; Total Fat 17 grams; Saturated Fat 2.5 grams; Protein 6 grams; Total Carbohydrate 28 grams; Sugar: 14 grams; Fiber 4 grams; Cholesterol 0 milligrams; Sodium 170 milligrams


Italian Tomatoes with Herbed Cheese


2 large Roma tomatoes, each cut in 6 slices

3/4 cup Cottage Cheese

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil


Arrange the tomatoes in single layer on a large serving plate. Spoon the cottage cheese evenly over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the pepper and basil. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the salad. Serve immediately. *Try serving with toast points.**Sprinkle with Kosher salt, if desired before serving.

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