Longevity Blueprint: Vital Health Screenings for Men Over 50 and Sugar's Impact on Lifespan

Longevity Blueprint: Vital Health Screenings for Men Over 50 and Sugar's Impact on Lifespan

Live Longer!

Important health screening exams for men over 50:

We know that truckers are required to take a DOT exam at a minimum of every 24 months, and the DOT exam includes some of the below, however, your primary care doctor can make certain that you include all the recommended screening exams below. For reasons that are not clear, we are seeing an increase in cancers in younger Americans. Don’t miss these important exams. Failing one could save your life:


Sugar is big business in America! Sugar is a very valuable ingredient for the food industry.  According to a market report1, the global industrial sugar market size was valued at USD 52.91 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 77.28 billion by 2030, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of of 4.8% during the forecast period. The main factors driving the growth of the market are the increasing demand for processed food and beverages, the technological applications of sugar in food preservation, texture, color, and fermentation, and the availability of sugar cane as a renewable and sustainable resource2.


The dirty little secret with low fat foods is that they often contain more sugar than fatty foods to improve the taste and texture. Sugar is a major source of calories and can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems. Therefore, low fat foods are not necessarily healthier or better for weight loss than whole-fat options. A better way to reduce sugar intake is to eat more whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins, and avoid processed foods, such as candies, cakes, cookies, sodas, and juices1.


Therefore, it is important to limit the intake of added sugars, which are sugars that are not naturally present in foods, but are added during processing or preparation1. Consuming these added sugars can cause elevations in your blood glucose. The optimal range of blood glucose levels for health and longevity depends on various factors, such as age, sex, medical history, and lifestyle. However, a general guideline is to maintain a fasting serum glucose level between 70 and 130 mg/dL, and a postprandial (after meal) serum glucose level below 180 mg/dL6These levels correspond to an A1C level, which is a measure of average serum glucose over 2 to 3 months, of less than 7%6


High blood glucose levels, also known as hyperglycemia, can result from diabetes, insulin resistance, high sugar intake, or other metabolic disorders. Hyperglycemia can damage various organs and tissues, such as the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney failure, and infections12Hyperglycemia can also impair cognitive function and accelerate the aging process by increasing oxidative stress and inflammation3. Therefore, high serum glucose levels can reduce estimated lifespan by increasing the likelihood of developing chronic diseases and complications.


According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025, Americans 2 years and older should keep their intake of added sugars to less than 10% of their total daily calories. For example, in a 2,000 calorie diet, no more than 200 calories should come from added sugars (about 12 teaspoons or 50 grams)2However, a federal committee has recommended that Americans limit their sugar intake to 6% of their daily calories, based on the evidence of the harmful effects of sugar on health3.


On average, American adults consume about 77 grams of sugar per day, which is more than the recommended amount—Europeans are generally leaner and meaner, see below. The main sources of added sugars in the American diet are beverages (47%), snacks and sweets (31%), and grains (8%)2Some foods and drinks that contain high amounts of added sugars are soda, fruit drinks, candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream, cereal, yogurt, and pasta sauce14.


To reduce the intake of added sugars, it is helpful to read the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods and drinks and look for the amount and percentage of added sugars per serving. The label also lists the ingredients, and some of the names of added sugars are high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, cane juice, fruit nectars, and malt syrup12


The average sugar intake per day for European adults ranges from about 7-8% of total energy intake in countries like Hungary and Norway, to 16-17% in countries like Spain and the United Kingdom1. This translates to about 35-85 grams of sugar per day, depending on the calorie intake and the type of sugar. The WHO recommends that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars (added sugars and natural sugars in honey, syrups, and fruit juices) to less than 10% of their total energy intake, and further to below 5% for additional health benefits2This means that the average adult should consume no more than 50 grams of free sugars per day, and preferably less than 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons)3.


Take Action. Get Moving.


YouGov polled 1,000 Americans about their goals for 2024, and unsurprisingly, more exercise, a better diet and improved mental health were at the top of the list.


Start by Sneaking in Exercise. Start small and create something that becomes a habit. Even a 10-minute walk per day is a great way to begin. Do that every day for a week then increase the distance or duration. Try James Clear’s Atomic Habit recommendation from Newsletter One and “Make it Attractive”, by inviting partners, fellow coworkers, or listening to your favorite Podcast. You will soon find that you miss your time walking. Get moving my friends!


Have a great weekend! Go Lions!


Matt McCord, MD, Founder, Benesan

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