#NaturallyInformed: Keynote Points to Diet As Top Healthy Aging Factor

The #NaturallyInformed event Healthy Aging: Mastering the Market opened not with a lecture, but with a conversation—playing right into one of the top points made by David Katz, M.D., MPH, FACPM, FACP, CEO of DietID, President of True Health Initiative, and health journalist.

Dr. Katz had a fireside chat with Maggie Jaqua, WholeFoods Magazine Content Director, in which he set the stage for two days of education. “I think what we’re looking to achieve is the best possible life we can live,” he said. “If life is good, if you’re doing what you want to do, you don’t want it to stop. So there’s years of life—and life in years. There’s an emphasis in pop culture on superficial things—hair going white, wrinkles—but we’re looking at fueling vitality, stamina.”

Looking back on his time in medicine, Dr. Katz reflected on all the people who didn’t get this experience—and why. “I saw all the people in the hospital who didn’t prevent the adverse events of aging, who got older and saw their health unravel. In hospital medicine, we are trained to be all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, but what we’re dealing with is after the fall from the wall, and we can’t unscramble an egg. We do what we can to restore health, but we couldn’t put the vitality in. So I went for preventative medicine.”

There are six pillars of healthy aging, according to Dr. Katz: diet, tobacco, physical activity, stress, sleep, and love. And the first three are major. “Diet and lifestyle has the potential to eliminate up to 80% of premature death,” Dr. Katz shared. And diet, particularly, struck him as thoroughly preventable: “A 2019 paper found that dietary factors were the leading cause of premature death in 195 countries all around the world. In the U.S. alone, bad diets—and we’re profiting from bad diets, we’re manufacturing it, for money—it kills more than 500,000 yearly. When COVID did that, we had a moment of reflection, and rightly so—but diet does this every year, and there’s no consequences, no moment of silence.”

Physical activity, too, struck Dr. Katz as well worth the trouble. “I hear a lot—‘I don’t have time to be physically active.’ My response is always ‘gee, that’s nice, I don’t have time not to be.’ It requires management of your schedule, but it pays you back so richly. More vitality, more acuity, more stamina, more cognitive horsepower, more focus, more productivity. It’s a very clear relationship, it’s well established in the literature. It’s an investment, and the ROI is absolutely huge.”

As for the other three pillars: “Humans are social animals. We need connections, we feed on them, they feed our souls. All love is good love. Not just romantic love, but friends and family.”

Nor, Dr. Katz feels, should this be a chore. “Healthy people have more fun,” he pointed out. “This is not ‘oh woe is me, somebody wagged a finger at me and told me to get healthy.’ Whatever it is you like to do, you can do more of it with more gusto if you’re healthy. My dad is 82, we still take 10-mile hikes together. That’s how this repays you, in life and vitality.”

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There’s more to this chat, lots more—Dr. Katz discussed the connection between humans and nature; how people live in “blue zones,” places with high concentrations of centenarians; how to double-dip on healthy behavior; what to eat; and more. And all of this is available for free, with registration on www.NaturallyInformed.net.

And keep an eye out for more coverage on this event! Or skip the wait—that free registration also grants you access to every session from the two-day event, including information on foods for aging brains, what trends Amazon data is predicting for this market, metaflammation, how the gut microbiome alters as we age, preventable eye health issues, the reasons why vitamin K2 is vital—and that’s just day 1. Head over to www.NaturallyInformed.net to get free access to this wealth of information.