This episode's News & Views includes the latest stories and research about America's declining life expectancy data, how optimism may extend life, and the latest archaeological clues about the Paleolithic Diet. The Moment of Paleo segment offers ideas about how to think about longevity in the context of your own health goals. And the After the Bell segment offers more longevity food-for-thought from Neil deGrasse Tyson and Laura Carstensen.

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00:00:07this is latest in paleo will show who starting point is that human beings are not broken we talked about health, mostly ancestral and evolutionary standpoint your Hostess me Angelo Coppola latest in paleo is distributed by the by 5 on casting Network
00:00:24latest in paleo episode Starts Now
00:00:52welcome and welcome back to the podcast that examines the latest health news from my perspective that aims for the intersection of scientific evidence and evolutionary Clues when we recognize that our modern lives present us with evolutionary mismatches it provides us with opportunities to remove roadblocks to health and well-being on this week show we consider longevity first new data released by the CDC shows the first drop in decades to life expectancy rates in the United States a new study suggests optimism plays a role and how long we live also new archaeological findings shed light on how much an animal consumption was taking place in the Stone Age In the moment of paleo segment we consider Howland jevity may come into play with our health decisions even if extending our own life spans isn't necessarily our primary goal in the after the Bell segment there's more food for thought from Neil deGrasse Tyson and Laura Christensen as we close the show with more spots on them
00:02:13hello everyone I hope you're all doing really well other than spending a little too much time in front of screens and at my desk I can't complain myself up here in the Pacific Northwest we are well into our rainy season we got some snow be so me which was really beautiful it's it's quite a sight to see you know all the tall trees outside just turning white you know it's it's so such a green place to live again and when you get that snowfall at just drastically changes into this beautifully white place and it's it's quite a sight I also love how fresh snow absorbs sound and so you can experience a very familiar setting but in a much quieter wet we don't get much snow where I live so it's up it's pretty cool when we do get some the most drastic change this time of year you know as we approach the winter solstice though is the reduction in sunlight hours Sunset occurs before 4:30 p.m. and with sunrise at about 8 a.m. you know most of us are spending those daylight hours at work
00:03:13so it gets a lot more difficult to spend time outside now I would still say I've come to appreciate it though not only does it make me appreciate the rest of the year that much more but it definitely has its own Beauty too and it's clear that this place just wouldn't be what it is without everything being as it is and experiencing the seasons provides a really nice Rhythm to it all okay so I mentioned last time that I was doing a fast and that went really well I wanted to give you a little update I ended up doing 5 days and like the previous time I have done a fast really glad that I get it it took me some time to work up the motivation for the second one but that's okay I think starting a fast when you really feel like doing it is probably one of the keys to actually succeeding with the fast and there's no real reason for most of us to be doing extended fast too frequently anyway now once or twice a year at 5 days that that's what seems appropriate to me a lot of people do
00:04:13report good results from much longer fast you know 20 + days personally I don't think I'll be doing anything like that unless there was a medical reason for it or you know if I had some really specific reason to give that a try and I would personally want supervision for anything longer than 7 days which would then kind of make it more of a hassle as well I talked last week about why this 527 Daymark makes sense to me based on the available research so you can go back and listen to that if you're interested in you missed it this was as I said my second five-day fast and it both of them or this year so to 5 day fasting 2016 and I can say I didn't really learn as much the second time around but it did kind of reinforce the things that I learned previously for instance once I got started it was a whole lot easier to do than I anticipated going into it hunger is rarely an issue and the desire to eat has a lot more to do I think with have it then
00:05:13actual hunger over the duration of the fast hunger comes and goes in waves and it's usually pretty easy to deal with it rarely hits extremely hard you know it's rarely an acute feeling of hunger so you kind of get used to it just passing and almost ignoring it I did drink plenty of water I had a cup of vegetable broth everyday we're talking under 20 calories this time around experienced a very high energy levels again and I say that as someone who's not normally a sluggish person to begin with but energy levels are still noticeably elevated on the fast I don't remember if this was the case last time but this time I had a bit of a hard time getting to bed at night I just wouldn't feel tired but when I actually lay down to sleep it wasn't difficult to fall asleep even the first couple of days when people were most discomfort those were pretty much fine for me and I think going into the fast with a good diet and a good frame of mind probably helps a lot in that department around T3 I would say felt Mormon
00:06:13and that lasted throughout that coincides with the time when most people are primarily burning fat for energy and are in ketosis so really great Focus during days 3 to 5 I thought about the question why am I passing a little bit more this time around last time a lot of it was curiosity you know I wanted to see if I could do it I wanted to see what it would be like and of course I was pleasantly surprised but now I know right so why do this well I do believe there are health benefits for sure and I talked a little bit about those last time as well I see it though as just being a really good part of really solid part of a health maintenance strategy paying as much attention as I do to health research and news fasting is one of those areas of research where the results are almost uniformly positive the scientific evidence in The evolutionary Clues intersect nicely as far as fast as concerned as well and you don't have to
00:07:13playing with my eating schedule in the past doing things like eating more eating more frequently but smaller meals everyday experimenting with having a really big breakfast smaller lunch and a light dinner and ultimately those never really work that well for me and I end up falling back into my natural pattern which is kind of an intermittent fasting template and so since this last fast and did something as kind of change that I've started eating my first foods of the day a little later so around 2 or so where as previously I would start eating around 11 or noon and it's typically something really light a bowl of berries salad handful of nuts something like that and I'm doing the bulk of my eating now during the evening meal so that's kind of interesting and it's working well aside from all the benefits believed to come from intermittent fasting it's just an energy thing for me and maybe it's the same
00:08:13you but I don't know after after I eat in a substantial meal my body tends to kind of want to shut down in India no use its energy it feels like to just metabolize and digest all that food and so that's fine in the evening right but it seems to help with productivity in the daytime if I just eat less during the day and it would probably be different if I did more physically demanding work during the day I suspect most people who work in an office typesetting would do better if they ate last during the day but that goes against the three Square meals a day principal so it doesn't even cross most people's minds to give that a try and of course these days it's three Square meals plus three Square snacks and while we tend to think of eating as taking in energy you also have to realize that it takes quite a bit of energy to actually metabolize all that fuel so in addition to the intermittent fasting I do a 24 hour fast once a month which again that's all so pretty
00:09:13easy for me when you're already intermittent fasting extending that you know 16 hours or 18 hours that you've gone without food is pretty easy to extend to that 24 hour. So for example if I take my last food at 7 or 8 p.m. in the evening and then I would eat again the following day at 7 or 8 p.m. and instead of it being maybe a bigger meal where you're taking in most of your days calories during that meal I just make it a lighter meal mostly fruit and vegetables and then the next day I pretty much resume the normal schedule and diet and then on top of that I do this once or twice a year probably twice a year of the 5-day fast now that might sound like a lot of fasting but honestly I feel pretty darn good following this pattern and if you think about it it's what to 5-day fast per year that's 10 days and then another 24 hour fast per month for the other 10 months that's 10 more days so it's
00:10:133 days a year total of fasting and 345 days a year of normal food intake it's really not that much once the overall pattern becomes normal it's it's just it becomes routine and it's not bad at all and it requires very little planning which I like certainly left planning than trying to follow a specific diet with rigid tracking and measuring or you know specific restrictions fasting is is a very easy thing to implement relatively speaking so giving the metabolic system periods of being on and off like this it just works really well for me it makes a lot of sense as well and there's a lot of research backing it up but the bottom line is that it does feel really good and for someone who's formerly obese like myself I think it's a great strategy to help with ensuring long-term weight maintenance and appetite regulation and if you've ever been obese I don't care how long you keep the weight off whether it's been a year or two year
00:11:13are over 6 years for me or 10 or 20 years I think we're at an elevated risk for putting that weight back on and it can happen really slowly so it's a really good idea to have a strategy in place to make sure that you know we kind of keep that in check that strategy can you vary from person to person of course but I think what doesn't bury is for people who successfully keep weight off for a lifetime is that we have to have some strategy right again I can't stress strongly enough that you know this absolutely does not mean my Approach is the right approach for everyone or that necessarily fasting is something that's right for everyone considering all the positive research at this point I would certainly say fasting is definitely worth experimenting with and it can probably benefit most people but is everyone going to give it a try and say yes you know this is for me you could even have a situation where it's still been
00:12:13give an individual but psychologically or for some other reasons like it it just may not be worth it big picture wise people have to navigate their own way through this there's just no there's no one way there so many individual factors involved so just real briefly one other cool thing I wanted to mention that came from this is that I discovered a new favorite food I learned a new way to enjoy berries okay so as you break your fast it's a really good idea to start taking food and again pretty slowly and you kind of start with lighter more nutrient-dense foods and work your way up so we had some blueberries in the freezer but like I said it's snowing you know who wants frozen blueberries so I decided to heat up about 2 cups worth of of blueberries in a saucepan with the juice of about half of a lemon and a graded in some fresh ginger it got really nice and hot and it started producing a lot of liquid but it still has really nice plump blue
00:13:13reason they're too and when I poured it into the bowl I said you know this looks like blueberry soup and my God it is so delicious seriously I've had this like 6 times now since I ended the fast I find it to be a really perfect kind of food for this time of year I try to eat blueberries everyday not. Blueberries just some kind of berries blueberries strawberries blackberries and he just brings a whole new level of enjoyment to it so this was so good I figured it had to be a thing already right so I Googled the blueberry soup and sure enough I found that it's actually a really popular way to eat bilberries in Sweden in the recipe I saw they tend to sweeten it up with some sugar I saw some variations with cinnamon some recipes suggest getting a dollop of yogurt and some granola so it's a pretty versatile I mean you can do a lot of things with us and I didn't see any with lemon and ginger but it's the same basic idea the Swedish recipes
00:14:13Easton to thicken it up with potato starch to which was kind of interesting because I actually thought to do that when I was first making it because the broth if you will or the juice is it's really thin and watery so the next time I made it I did at a little potato starch and I really like that it was really good because it wasn't so watery and it kind of stays on the spoon a little bit better while you're eating it and I would sell used maybe half a teaspoon of potato starch if you want to try it and you don't have potato starch I'm sure any starts woodwork corn starch tapioca starch arrowroot really popular whatever you have on hand seriously though this winter this is going to be my think and if this sounds at all good to you I highly recommend giving it a try it's sort of like a less dense less thick blueberry pie filling and I tell you what I'll throw a recipe to it in the show notes it's so simple and quick to prepare and I think it just adds new life to the frozen berries you probably already got in your freezer as well and I liked it so much actually that neck
00:15:13sheer when those blackberries are all over the place here in the Northwest I plan on picking tons of them and not worrying so much about turning them into jams or four different kinds of preserved I'm just going to throw them straight in the freezer and enjoy wild Blackberry soup or you know whatever you want to call it it's it's I'm a big fan as you can talk okay that's about it for the fasting update all the one listener had a great idea and I want to mention that briefly in and that is that maybe next time I do one of these I'll try to announce it out of time so maybe a group of us might want to give it a try all at the same time and we could possibly communicate somehow via maybe I don't know what post on Facebook or maybe something like slack I don't know but it could offer just that little bit of extra motivation and support that people would like during something like this which would be pretty cool that's probably about 6 months away though so just just an idea that I'm going to throw out there and I will try to remember for next time okay and I want to
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00:17:28for our first couple of stories let's talk about longevity and life expectancy then we'll switch gears of it and wrap things up with a story about food from the Paleolithic Era so first up the national Center for Health statistics in the United States has released its latest report including and numbers on life expectancy in the US here's an overview from new Z. Com States life expectancy for Americans has decreased according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention the overall life expectancy for the u.s. population drop from 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.8 years in 2015 that might seem like a pretty small difference on paper but it has researchers worried about this is a big deal there is not a better indicator of well-being than life expectancy it's remarkable there are lots of things about this that are unexpected
00:18:27is believe a spike in Aid of the top 10 leading causes of death are to blame it's clear exactly what's behind this increase in fatalities but at least one major cause of death star decline in 2015 cancer okay so some good news with regard to cancer there but overall trend still in how long were living the last time the life expectancy dropped in the United States was 1993 and it was due mostly to HIV AIDS this time we're saying in creases and heart disease dementia and also accidental infant deaths to put things into perspective the average life expectancy in the United States in 1950 was 68 years old so while things have improved drastically since then I downward tick is still very much worth looking and by the way for the three years prior to this decline the average life expectancy stage flat so we haven't seen an actual increase in life expectancy since about 2011 according the BBC
00:19:27show a mixture of factors death rates have risen for 8 out of 10 of the leading causes of death heart disease .9% rise chronic lower respiratory disease 2.7% rise unintentional injuries 6.7% rise stroke 3% rise Alzheimer's disease 15.7% rise diabetes 1.9% rise kidney disease 1.5% rise and suicide 2.3% rise and quote just for some scalp diseases by far the biggest killer four times as many as the next leading caused so even a small increase in deaths from heart disease has a fairly large impact and also to put the u.s. numbers into a little more perspective the United States ranks 28th in the world for overall life expectancy we're cruising along right behind the Czech Republic Chile and Costa Rica and directly behind the United States are turkey Poland
00:20:27Estonia now this certainly brings up some interesting questions and itself into me is probably the bigger more under-reported story I think it speaks volumes about our diets and Lifestyles hear the world's highest life expectancy is in Japan which is well known for the ingevity of its elderly citizens people there live on average to 83.7 years which is followed by Switzerland and Spain at 83.3 years and quote so let's get to die on lifestyle for a moment when we think about what the future of American life expectancy looks like you know huge breakthroughs in science and medicine inside the picture that we see right now is more and more overweight and obesity more diabetes Tire cardiovascular risks less physical activity a diet that consists of over 70% processed food and 50% Ultra processed food and I'm just talking about our children here right think about that for a minute
00:21:27there are endless debates in the United States about Healthcare and pretty much no one really thinks we're doing things right but imagine if we spent as much time talking about health instead of healthcare we're so focused on disease care really and that should definitely be debated tweaked fixed experimented with everything but let's not forget that the easiest way to fix the problems with Health Care is by fixing the problems with health and the easiest and most effective way to fix health is dieting lifestyle fixing these at the macro population-wide levels may not be that easy but it starts with the individual and at that scope we all have a huge amount of control I have a hard time imagining what the implications will be for our population where a significant portion of that population is basically starting off life so unhealthy you look at current Trend now ask for these current numbers on life expectancy there is
00:22:27reason to believe that the downward check could just be a blip in the data some of the increases weren't necessarily lifestyle-related such as accidents suicides arguably fall outside of this infant deaths are the leading cause for the increase in infant deaths was accidental Suffocation mostly in bed another big corporate in the death rate increase was drug overdose but still those increases in park related deaths and strokes we remain driver in the drop in life expectancy it's too soon really to say exactly what was going on in 2015 to cause the increases in death rates but in fact we may even see a decrease in some of these areas in 2016 which what kind of even things out but we can say for sure though is that life expectancy is not increasing and it hasn't been for a while I don't think this is because we're hitting a wall in the human potential for living longer and healthier as much as it is that we're maybe hitting a wall with what our life's
00:23:27miles and hour medical interventions can produce according to NPR quote whatever the cause the trend is concerning especially when the death rate is continuing to drop and life expectancy is still on the rise and most other industrialized countries and quote interesting enough the study was recently published in the American Journal of epidemiology titled optimism and conspecific mortality a prospective cohort study and in the study they looked at how optimism can affect longevity this is from the abstract quote growing evidence is linked positive psychological attributes like optimism to a lower risk of poor health outcomes especially cardiovascular disease it has been demonstrated in randomize trials that optimism can be learned if associations between optimism and brought her health outcomes are established it may lead to novel interventions that improve Public Health and Longevity and quote and this is CBS News
00:24:27I said she tries to stay positive I think I'm more of a glass-half-full person I try to look at the bright side of life new study shows an optimistic outlook on life help you live longer we found that when comparing the most optimistic to the least optimistic women people how to reduce risk of dying from cancer infection stroke heart disease and lung disease dr. Eric Kim and researchers from the harbor th10 School of Public Health look at the date on 70000 women over 8 years the most optimistic women had a nearly 30% lower risk of dying it seems to have the most effect on cardiovascular outcomes and the smallest effect on cancer outcomes that taking steps to boost your optimism might also lead to healthy behaviors and better coping skills dr. Kim says there are some easy ways to do that once called best possible self so you think about your different domains of life whether it's your personal relationship with your spouse
00:25:27career and your friendships in each of those demands you think about the best possible outcome since you've done for others pretty terrible at those exercises that require you to sit down and write three things out like that daily and I'm just not good at it is it's not something that works really well for me I'm sure it does for some people I'm just not one of them now this study only included data on women ever heard as far as the conclusions we can draw from it are valid one would expect to see similar results for men but then again maybe not so let's not forget though that we're dealing with an association here and while the study is interesting and thought-provoking we can't establish a cause-and-effect relationship between optimism and mortality the researchers adjusted their data for health behaviors health conditions and depression so this suggests that it wasn't just the optimistic people who
00:26:27tended to have healthier Lifestyles or where maybe a healthier to begin with but that when you compared people with similar situations optimism as a more isolated variable did appear to play a role in leading to a longer life so a few things come to mind that there is a connection between our psychological states of mind and our physical manifestations of help that shouldn't be too shocking I don't think after all if a placebo can get rid of back pain why can't a positive outlook do things like reduce inflammation or strengthen and immune system or a string cardiovascular system it's certainly not outside the scope of reasonable possibility in my opinion at all so in this study women were divided into four groups from least to most optimistic okay those in the most optimistic group or 29% less likely to die than those in the least optimistic group
00:27:23they were 16% less likely to die from cancer 38% less likely to die from heart or respiratory disease 39% less likely to die of stroke and this is interesting 52% less likely to die from an infection again while this isn't a definitive cause and effect relationship than nice thing here is that if the study should influence anyone to learn more optimistic ways of thinking to the point where they actually shaped a new way of looking at life and and you know make some lean from a more pessimistic out view Outlook to a more positive optimistic outlook on life it's hard to imagine that is being a bad thing you know even if the side effect of optimism isn't necessarily a longer life it's still probably a nicer one both for the individual and for the people around them and I especially think for those of us were more interested in looking at Health from a diet and lifestyle perspective
00:28:23rather turn to those before looking at you know medications and other more drastic interventions this may really belong on that lifestyle checklist so to speak. You know diet physical activity sleep positive outlook optimism and and really once we start getting the lifestyle factors in place and that healthy cycle starts rolling I suspect it leads to a more positive outlook anyway but the thing about this cycle is that there are many different entry points right some people come to a better Lifestyle by starting with diet by starting with Fitness by starting with better sleep and as we move any one of those any one of those areas into a better direction we sort of naturally start working on the others to sew for people who aren't necessarily is open or likely to enter the healthy lifestyle cycle with food or with Dieter would sleep it could be that positivity or cycle
00:29:23improvements in general could be just the entry point that they need learning to find the silver lining might actually lead to better sleep which might lead to more energy and physical activity which then lead to a desire to eat better that kind of thing I like it okay we're going to switch gears now and look at our next story of recent article was published in New Scientist it's titled ancient leftovers show the real paleo diet was a veggie Feast there some good in here and also perhaps a few conclusions that are overly extrapolated and we'll take a look at that quote archaeological excavations at a stone age site in Israel have revealed of the first direct evidence of the sort of plants that are distant human ancestors ate with their meat and fish their tastes were more adventurous than we might expect with roasted acorns and such as both on the menu archaeologist tend to emphasize the role of meat in ancient human diets largely because the
00:30:23Richard bones of wild animals are so likely to be preserved at dick sites edible plants may have been overlooked simply because the remains and don't survive well and quote okay so what did they find scientists looked at a site in Israel that was occupied as far back as 780000 Years Ago by Homo erectus at Water logging helped preserve evidence of what they ate plants as well as meat and water logging is according Wikipedia in archaeology waterlogging refers to the long-term exclusion of air by groundwater which creates an anaerobic environment that can preserve artifacts perfectly such water logging preserves perishable artifacts thus in a site which is been waterlogged since the archaeological Horizon was deposited exceptional insights may be obtained and quote they were able to compare plant remains from the site during periods when humans occupied versus non-human occupants and then they were able to infer which
00:31:23foods that humans were eating quote it turns out the ancient humans had extraordinary we brought taste they collected no fewer than 55 different kinds of plants harvesting their nuts fruit seeds and underground stems or eating them as vegetables in the modern human diet is clearly restricted when compared to the early hominin diet or even to the early farmers die such broad taste were probably essential they gave early humans a good chance of finding palatable food all year round it gets one substantial element of security when particular sources become rare or absent and quote and I think this really highlights the interplay between diet and environment for early humans when plant Foods were available they certainly exploited it one researcher says quote there probably was no single balance between meat and plant human evolution is a work in progress and diets likely varied along a Continuum in both time and space and quote
00:32:23another researcher at the Max Planck Institute for evolutionary anthropology in Germany thinks human diets dipped towards being plant rich though she says quote we need plant-derived nutrients to survive vitamin C and fiber for example hominins were probably predominantly vegetarians and quote arguable vitamin C's definitely needed fiber maybe a bit controversial how much and from which sources also somewhat controversial now the types of plants they found at the site aren't necessarily the kinds of plants that we eat today stuff like grass Rush Southern Cattail pod weed yellow water lily Johnson grass more familiar ones include celery nuts seeds figs leafy vegetables all lives in acorns they say winter and spring diets consisted of mainly Roots leafy greens and olives while Summer and Autumn diets revolved around porridges nuts and acorns quote unlike Frozen and canned veggies
00:33:23take the diet in ancient days was fresh and it was always important to balance out the amount of protein coming from the animals that lived in the area such as deer and elephants and fish habitat in the lake nearby said I believe it dog ocean from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the plant menu was varied and included root vegetables such as Reeds and rushes leafy vegetables to juice celery nuts and seeds among them one of the extinct water plant seeds of the Year Hale ferox that when roasting it turns into a popcorn and quote kind of interesting to imagine you know still need your sitting around the fire making Uriel ferox popcorn thought of that before while it's been assumed that humans have taken advantage of a wide array of plant foods and environments where they were available quote the discovery is the first evidence that the early humans feasted on a rich variety of plants during this time at this is the first time in the
00:34:23history of human evolution that we have direct information about the plant components of hominin diet said Professor neoma Goron in bar one of the authors of the study published in peanuts and quote now the site was submerged under the Jordan River and the hula Lake which provided the conditions lacking in oxygen the water logging that we were talking about that made preservation possible and this was aided by fast covering layers of sediment as well the archaeologist also uncovered stone tools Among The Remains by the way another thing this archaeological evidence provides is some insight into how human diets may have transitioned from african-based to Eurasian diets as humans migrated Out of Africa it also opens up questions as to how humans me evolved under darwinian pressure is to adapt to those newer environments headlines around this story include the phrase the real paleo diet right
00:35:23and the essence of these stories well actually hear it gives her some of the headlines Fox News ancient plants in Israel give clues about real paleo diet Daily Mail the real yo-yo diet more than 9000 plant remains review of Paleolithic humans eat a variety of greens a site called Asia me science time to update the paleo diet it was heavy on plants and veggies the express Caveman Diet review of the Stone Age eating area uncovers remains of nuts and seeds Okay so apparently paleo diet is really good for headlines but it's important to remember that this archaeological finding is from a single location and while I doubt we will ever find evidence that any group of humans was 100% carnivorous or 100% vegetarian at least bring your long periods of time what is likely is that findings will continue to show that humans have survived well on diets of various plant animal ratios
00:36:23that's one of in a human's omnivorous features that makes us so flexible and adaptable to new environments regular listeners probably know that I myself have leaned more toward a plant heavy diet over the years. For a number of reasons but that's not to say that I think my way of eating is the single most right way for it every person to eat or that my own success with this is a hundred percent transferable to other individuals the whole idea of a single model is what these headlines suggest and I think that's just misleading the city itself doesn't do this the researchers quoted in the article don't do this the headline is not the research oftentimes research papers have several pages of conclusion and discussion and so you know you just can't distill the new ones down to ahead and we all know headlines are clickbait and they're written to get attention but we can't be reminded of this often enough finding like these are truly informative but only in the context of adding the
00:37:23greater body of evidence I think they also remind us that there's a good bit of leeway when it comes to designing and evolutionarily appropriate diet for the individual and I think that a lot of people who write those headlines well I think they know what they're doing and trying to get the quicksand and the eyeballs but the Articles themselves sometimes do this and they kind of forget the fact that a paleo diet includes quite a bit of plant food quite a bit of vegetable matter as it is and something like this doesn't necessarily tell us we need to redefine that you know we have a wide template that we can work with that can satisfy health goals as well as satiety signals or even culinary preferences for the individual
00:38:20what time now for the moment of paleo segment just to throw around a few more ideas of small course of food for thought following are News and Views on Trey most of today show centered around lungevity we've learned that the average life expectancy in the US has declined a bit that it ranks about 28 in the world. Perhaps our outlook on life can influence the length of our lives but he comes into play for us though we think about her health choices I mean I'm sure some of us Focus almost exclusively on longevity there are calorie restriction diet or spring example if you eat a very healthy nutrient-dense diet but very little of it and I hopes that calorie restriction can lead to an extraordinary life span with a good healthspan others may be somewhat influence by longevity researched and eat this or that super food or do this or that activity and some people maybe don't focus on lunch of it at all but are more driven by performance in an athletic sense or four other goals
00:39:20interesting enough though it would seem that people who actually do live a very long time don't really talk about focusing much on lungevity throughout their lives they were probably blessed with the right genetics and work brought up in the right environment to stay healthy and lower their disease risks when we look at what we can learn from the blue zones we find a very little indication that their lifestyles are designed specifically for longevity but rather that won Jeopardy seems to be a side effect of clean eating regular physical activity and several other attributes on the show longevity comes up often the various dietary and lifestyle choices that are associated with lower all-cause mortality how fasting might contribute to Lynn jevity that kind of thing and this is really more because when it comes to health some activity or habit or that's associated with longevity can give us clues about health right after all of longer healthspan in a longer life are Tea ingredients to help another
00:40:20what's will be healthy when we're dead in my own view I tend to focus on lungevity and factors that lower all-cause mortality for this reason it's basically a bet that those things that lead to a longer life also lead to a better life to better help which contributes to happiness regardless of how long we actually live this boils down to a quantity vs quality argument and like most arguments it's not all black or white not all one or the other but the right balance that are to be sought and both signs really have to be considered so even if your health goals happened to be predominately performance-driven awareness about how certain diets and activities might affect longevity can still inform your performance driven Decisions by this I mean if you are able to obtain similar or identical results but one method is largely supported by science to promote longevity while another method is either neutral or believed to reduce longevity why not opt for the choice
00:41:20promotes a longer life and supports your performance goals and if you find yourself obsessively driven by Lin Jeopardy in your decisions it's probably worth while to also consider how much each of those decisions really does contribute to a longer life and whether it's worth it you know what do you want to do with the extra gears what do you want to feel who do you want to have an effect on are you able to do those things right now are you sacrificing something important right now for an extra month or two at the end of your life longevity for longevity sake May Rob the present of its inherent value yet living entirely for the value of the present May Roberts of future happiness each of us has our own equilibrium here take a moment to reevaluate and recalibrate
00:42:24it is and I don't know
00:42:46and here we are at the end of another episode of latest in paleo I certainly hope you enjoyed your time here at the crossroads Crossroads is a place where two pants come together scientific evidence and evolution that's that's always a nice intersection a Crossroads is also a place though where decisions are made now do I go this way or that way but there are rarely just two options and usually no matter which way you go there will be more Forks in the road ahead in any case it's always good to be well-informed hey if you got feedback for Today Show feel free to email me Angelo at latest in paleo. Com you can always hop on to our Facebook page facebook.com latest in paleo and leave a comment there that's actually probably the best place since I'm a little bit behind right now on email as it is and if you'd like to stay informed between episodes be sure to sign up for the latest in paleo Health news ticker at latest in paleo. Com ticker that brings another half dozen or so Health news stories to your attention just about every week about a
00:43:46saying ranging from Children's Health when jevity the latest on various food research all that good stuff you get a quick summary some brief thoughts from me and links to articles and research so you can dive deeper in yourself if you'd like it's great for water-cooler conversation and you're virtually guaranteed to come across some stories that can affect your own decisions latest in paleo. Com sticker and finally latest in paleo counts on your support to make the show possible hopefully it shows how much time is involved in creating each episode with research writing Clips editing production and so forth and actually maybe hopefully it doesn't show but in any case being primarily supported by you you can also be sure that the show is for you and not swayed by other pressures to help out or just visit latest in paleo. Com support of really big thank you to everyone who has and who continues to help pay the shows bills and tip make it possible for it to continue now I know there's still some time
00:44:46for some last-minute Christmas shopping so be sure to check out some of the recommendations I've made not only are there some great products I think you'll like but in this way you are breaking their online shopping and also help the show it's a real win-win I hope you'll remember this show and all the miles we travel together this holiday season again latest in paleo. Com support and now stay tuned for after the Bell first up Neil deGrasse Tyson on living and Longevity and then it's Laura Carstensen delivering an interesting talk called older people are happier stay healthy friends until next time I'm your host Angelo Coppola signing out
00:45:40I'd rather
00:45:41think that we'd be spending more energy learning how to look better
00:45:46I'd rather start there and then let's worry about the ones you have anything a little later part of knowing that you're going to die
00:45:54not to get all philosophical on you but knowing that you're going to die creates a certain Focus
00:46:01on your activities and life in the present if you do if you know you're going to live for a thousand years then at any moment you say what what's my hurry why should I finish this manuscript that you're why should I work late in the lab I can just go home and watch the game and so
00:46:20knowing that you need to find that life creates a certain urgency to the minutes that you live that I value I value greatly and I don't know what it would mean if we live forever live the really long time I don't know what it would mean for my focus
00:46:36maybe it's not you have to be careful what you wish for here that we live a long time people become less productive than they do when they don't live very long at all
00:46:46I think of the mayfly live no more than 24 hours
00:46:51now what is life like to them
00:46:54they don't even know never see a sunrise they're born in the daytime the things that we take for granted that they never see so every minute of their life is with a wall or ceiling it said when it's a grass it's a everything is this life experience
00:47:10that's captured and presumably valued in their little brains
00:47:15so I like to take my 75 years on this planet and be like the mayfly
00:47:21thinking they're only looking for a day and just take it all
00:47:27people are living longer and societies are getting gray hair you hear about it all the time you read about it in the newspapers you hear about it on your television sets sometimes I'm concerned that we hear about it so much that we've come to accept longer lives with a kind of a complacency even these
00:47:48but make no mistake longer lives Ken and I believe will improve quality of life at all ages
00:48:00how to put this in perspective let me just zoom out for a minute
00:48:04more years were added to average life expectancy in the 20th century
00:48:11then all years added across all prior Millennia of human evolution combined in a blink of an eye we nearly double the length of time that we're living
00:48:27so if you ever feel like you don't have his age and quite pegged don't kick yourself it's brand new
00:48:35and because fertility rates fell across that very same. That life expectancy was going up
00:48:43that pyramid that has always represented the distribution of age in the population with many young ones at the bottom window to a tiny peek of older people who make it and survive to old age of being reshaped into a rectangle
00:49:00and now if you're the kind of person who can get chills from population statistics these are the ones that should do it because when that means is that for the first time in the history of the species the majority of babies born in the developed world are having the opportunity to grow old
00:49:23how did this happen but we're not genetically harder than our ancestors were 10,000 years ago this increase in life expectancy is the remarkable product of culture The Crucible that holds science and technology and wide-scale changes in behavior that improve health and well-being
00:49:45cultural changes our ancestors largely eliminated early death so that people can that live out there for life
00:49:56there are problems associated with aging diseases poverty lots of social status it's hardly time to rest on our laurels
00:50:04but the more we learn about aging the clear it becomes that a sweeping downward course is grossly inaccurate
00:50:13Beijing bring some rather remarkable improvements increase knowledge expertise
00:50:20and emotional aspects of Life improve
00:50:26that's right older people are happy they're happier than middle-aged people and younger people certainly study after study is coming to the same conclusion the CDC recently conducted a survey where they asked respondents simply to tell them whether they experience significant psychological distress and the previous week and you were older people answer the phone with a bully to that question then middle-aged people and younger people as well
00:50:56and a recent Gallup poll asked participants how much stress and worry and anger they had experienced the previous day and stress
00:51:07anger all decrease with age
00:51:12social science is called as the Paradox of Aging I mean after all I see is not a piece of cake so we've asked all sorts of questions to see if we could undo this finding Wings asked whether it be that the current generations of older people are and always have been the greatest Generations that is that younger people today may not typically experience these improvements as they grow older we've asked maybe older people are just trying to put a positive spin on an otherwise depressing existence
00:51:48but the more we tried to disavow all this finding the more evidence we find to support it
00:51:56years ago my colleagues and I embarked on a study where we followed the same group of people over a 10-year period originally the sample was aged 18 to 94 and we studied weather and how their emotional experiences changed as they grow older are participants would carry electronic pagers for a week at a time and we pay them throughout the day and evenings at random times and everytime we page then we'd ask them to answer several questions on A1 to 7 scale how happy are you right now how sad are you right now how frustrated are you right now so that we can get a sense of the kinds of emotions and feelings they were having in their day-to-day lives and using this intense study of individuals we find that it's not one particular generation that's doing better than the others but the same individuals over time come to report relatively greater positive experience downturn
00:52:56man stages and there is a slight downturn that no point does it return to the levels we see in early adulthood
00:53:05it's really too simplistic to say that older people are happy
00:53:13in our study they are more positive but they're also more likely than younger people to experience mixed emotions sadness at the same time you experience happiness you know that tear in the eye when you're smiling and friend
00:53:28and other research has shown that older people seem to engage with sadness more comfortably and more accepting of sadness than younger people are weak suspected this may help to explain why older people are better than spend younger people at solving hotly charged emotional conflicts in debates
00:53:48older people can view Injustice with compassion but not despair
00:53:55and all things being equal older people direct their cognitive resources like attention and memory to positive information more than negative if we show older middle-aged people images like the ones you see on the screen
00:54:11we later ask them to recall all the images that they can older people but not younger people remember more positive images then negative images we've asked older and younger people to view faces and laboratory studies some Browning some smiling older people look toward the smiling faces and away from the frowning angry faces
00:54:35in day-to-day life this translates into greater enjoyment and satisfaction
00:54:43what is social science as we continue to ask about possible Alternatives we said well maybe older people report more positive emotions because they're cognitively impaired we said could it be that positive emotions are simply easier to process the negative emotions and so you switch to the positive emotions are neural centers in our brain are degraded such that we are unable to process negative emotions anymore but that's not the case the most mentally sharp older adults are the ones who show this positivity affect the most
00:55:21under conditions where it really matters older people due process the negative information just as well as the positive information so
00:55:32well in our research we found at these changes are grounded fundamentally and the uniquely human ability to monitor time not just clock time and calendar time but life time and if there's a paradox of Aging it's not recognizing that we won't live forever changes our perspective on life and positive ways
00:55:56when time Horizons are long and nebulous as they typically are and youth people are constantly preparing kind of soak up all the information they possibly can taking risks exploring we might spend time with people we don't even like because it's somehow interesting you know we might learn something unexpected
00:56:19can we go on blind dates
00:56:23after all if it doesn't work out there's always tomorrow people over 50 as we age our time Horizons grow shorter and our goals change when we recognize that we don't have all the time in the world we see our priorities most clearly we take less notice of trivial matters we save her life were more appreciative were open to reconciliation we invest in more emotionally important parts of life and life gets better
00:57:05so we're happier day today but that same shift in perspective leads us to have less tolerance than ever for Injustice
00:57:16by 2015 there will be more people in the United States over the age of 60 than under 15
00:57:26what will happen to societies that are top-heavy with older people
00:57:31the numbers won't determine the outcome culture will
00:57:38if we invest in science and technology and find solutions for the real problems that older people face
00:57:46and we capitalize on the very real strength of older people then added years of life can dramatically improve quality of life at all ages
00:58:00societies with millions of talented emotionally stable citizens who are healthier and better educated than any Generations before them armed with knowledge about the Practical matters of life and motivated to solve the big issues can be better societies than we have ever known
00:58:25my father
00:58:27I would like to say
00:58:30what stop talking only about how to say the old folks and start talking about how to get them to save us all for listening to latest in paleo the end

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