What you need to know:
Diet and exercises play enormous roles. Eat a little healthier now so that you do not have to make any drastic changes later in life. Complications that come with non-communicable diseases are way too harsh.
By Kassim Adinasi
The other day, someone saw me eating brown rice and told me that they would “rather die happy at 60 than eat brown rice and die at 80.”
It was a comment that really got me thinking: how many people do you know that have died happily at 60?
First, I should say that I do not think 60 is old. It may seem old when you are in your 20s or 30s, but 60-year-olds these days are very energetic and vibrant. So why would you want to die then? You would not.
Majority of people who do die when they are 60, do not do so because they want to, rather because they have suffered from some illness.
So, while brown rice is not a cure-all, a healthier lifestyle will improve the quality of your life. In the health profession, we often talk about adding years to your life, as opposed to adding life to your years.
Let me give you an example of diabetes, a condition that is often called a lifestyle illness.
Granted, some people have hereditary factors that predispose them to it, but that does not mean that they will necessarily get it.
Diet and exercise both play enormous roles. For instance, it has now been proven that drinking a sugary fizzy drink every day pretty much guarantees that you will get diabetes, even if your lifestyle is otherwise healthy.
The solution? Eat a little healthier now so that you do not have to make any drastic changes in your evening years. And dietary changes are not even the worst things in the world.
Complications of diabetes range from nerve damage and issues with vision, to the severely increased risk of heart disease.
Healthy lifestyle vs complications
While there is medication for all this, do not be fooled. At that stage, you are in a situation where you are managing a disease and, over time, you need an increasing amount of medication to manage its effects.
And because of the side effects of the medication, even at that stage, people are always looking for lifestyle alternatives.
Think of it as the difference between trying to maintain a badly driven car (one that has hit every single pothole) to one that is the same age but has been driven well and is regularly serviced.)
Becoming healthier need not be black and white, say the choice between chocolate cake and brown rice – it is about finding a balance.
A little of what you fancy does you good. So make sure it is just a little and make sure you are drinking enough water, eating your greens and getting your eight hours at night while you do.