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Of course, we all want to live long, productive, active, and interesting lives.  We also want to give you good information about getting and staying healthy as a part of our blog postings. 

Our friends at AARP Magazine have been counting the ways to extend our lives.  Here is their list by the numbers.  For more information about this article and AARP Magazine, click here.

9 Health Numbers That Can Extend Your Life

2.7: days you should stay home with the flu

Anything less and you risk infecting coworkers, a study finds. Sixty percent of workers go to the office when they’re sick.

2: hours of TV you can safely watch each day

Too much tube time increases the concentration of triglycerides in your blood and lowers HDL (“good”) cholesterol. That can harm your heart.

7+: ideal daily servings of fruits and veggies

That’s more than the five a day you’re used to, but the extra amount can reduce your risk of early death by 42 percent, says a British study.

60 to 100: heartbeats per minute at rest

A gain of just 10 beats per minute over normal increases your risk of dying from heart disease by 10 to 18 percent, a new study finds.

7: hours of sleep per night you need to control weight

In a study of more than 21,000 healthy adults, those who slept five hours or less per night were 50 percent more likely to become obese, compared with those who logged a full night’s rest.

20: most miles you should drive to work — round trip — each day

Longer commutes are associated with higher blood pressure, more worrying and chronic stress, a study on commuting and health finds. (Did we really need a study?)

1,500: maximum amount of sodium, in milligrams, an average adult should consume daily

Three-quarters of the salt in your diet comes from processed foods, so sub in fresh whole foods to lower blood pressure.

1:2: healthiest ratio, waist to height

A bigger waist increases your risk of developing metabolic syndrome (a cluster of factors including high blood pressure and cholesterol), which in turn raises the chance of heart disease and stroke.

0: number of cans of sugar-laden soda you can safely drink

Just one 12-ounce can a day raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 18 percent, according to a recent study.

How bad are diet soft drinks?

This stunning information about regular soft drinks immediately drove us to ask the question, “What about diet soft drinks. How bad are they?”  The short answer is really bad.  In the article, 10 Reasons to Give Up Diet Soda, by Mary Squillace in Health Magazine, Mary delivers information that’s downright scary.  Here is a selection of the reasons to give up diet soda that really got our attention.  For a complete list, click here.

Associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes

Drinking one diet soda a day was associated with a 36% increased risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes in a University of Minnesota study. Metabolic syndrome describes a cluster of conditions (including high blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, raised cholesterol, and large waist circumference) that put people at high risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, Bjork explains.

Ruin your smile over time

Excessive soda drinking could leave you looking like a Breaking Bad extra, according to a case study published in the journal General Dentistry. The research compared the mouths of a cocaine-user, a methamphetamine-user, and a habitual diet-soda drinker, and found the same level of tooth erosion in each of them. The culprit here is citric acid, which weakens and destroys tooth enamel over time.

May be bad for your bones

Women over 60 are already at a greater risk for osteoporosis than men, and Tufts University researchers found that drinking soda, including diet soda, compounds the problem. They discovered that female cola drinkers had nearly 4% lower bone mineral density in their hips than women who didn't drink soda. The research even controlled for the participants' calcium and vitamin D intake. Additionally, a 2006 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that cola intake (all kinds, not just diet) was associated with low bone-mineral density in women.

Could hurt your heart

Just one diet soft drink a day could boost your risk of having a vascular event such as stroke, heart attack, or vascular death, according to researchers from the University of Miami and Columbia University. Their study found that diet soda devotees were 43% more likely to have experienced a vascular event than those who drank none. Regular soda drinkers did not appear to have an increased risk of vascular events.

Researchers say more studies need to be conducted before definitive conclusions can be made about diet soda's effects on health.

We want you to stick around

We are very attached to our friends and clients.  We appreciate you and would like to serve your insurance needs for years to come.  Please consider taking some of the steps in this blog to get healthier.

Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.