Snacking well may slow aging
Do you love to snack? That could pay off and help you stay in good health as you grow older. According to a recent study, when healthy older women (average age 72) ate meals of 250, 500, and 1,000 calories, only after the 250-calorie "snack" did their blood sugar and insulin do what they're supposed to do - rise, and then return rapidly to normal. But after even moderate 500- and 1,000-calorie meals, blood sugar and insulin stayed high for up to 5 hours. (In young women, those levels quickly returned to normal.) Does it matter? Yes. Experts think high blood sugar may set the stage for damage to collagen and DNA, which could accelerate signs of aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, and cataracts.High insulin is a known risk factor for heart disease. What you can do: Instead of eating three regular meals, or a light breakfast and lunch and a big dinner, enjoy five to seven minimeals of about 250 calories throughout your day. Though we need more studies, this could give women a new weapon against aging.