Eating for a longer life: Lessons from Date Night

March 16, 2017 Mike Francis

To Your Health: C’mon. Let’s go out for dinner.

Significant Other: Yeah? Sure. What do you have in mind?

TYH: Well, you know me. I like to eat healthy.

S.O.: Yes, I know. But you still know your way around a buffet.

TYH: Well, tonight, I have in mind some foods that will help you live longer, my love.

S.O.: OK, I’m game.

<Leave house, arrive at restaurant, are seated>

Waiter: Have you had a chance to study the menu?

TYH: We have. But it’s clear that a nutritionist hasn’t.


S.O.: Babe, please don’t start.

TYH: Well, look at this: Smoked sausages, with salted fingerling potatoes. Fried biscuits. Even your green beans are fried.

W: People do seem to like them.

TYH: Yes, that’s the problem. Did you know a study by researchers at Tufts University shows that people who eat too much processed meat, sodium and not enough whole grains, nuts and vegetables are more likely to be stricken with heart disease, stroke or Type 2 diabetes?

W: I did not.

S.O.: Babe …

TYH: Well, it’s true.

W: Sir, do you see something you would like?

TYH: Oh, I see a lot of things I would like. I just don’t see enough that would like ME. <pauses> Maybe this: Seared king salmon on rice. Wild king salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You know about omega-3, right?

W: I’ve heard of it. So the salmon for you?

TYH: Well, you might want to read up on it. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is good for the brain and reduces inflammation. <pauses> Can I get that on whole grain, brown rice?

W: I believe so, sir. <gives the faintest of sighs.> An excellent choice.

TYH: Listen, you can eat whatever you like. It’s your body. But the chef might want to consider stocking the menu with healthier dishes, like roasted cauliflower with pine nuts, swordfish with tomatoes and capers, baked spinach and artichokes on whole-grain penne, things like that.

W: Impressive, sir. Are you a chef?

TYH: No, but I can read, and I’m telling you, these Tufts people are pretty smart. They say people who eat too much salt, processed meat and sugary drinks don’t live as long as people who eat healthier diets.

W: I have no doubt. If the people from Tufts show up, I’ll be sure to seat them near the kitchen so they can discuss this with the chef.

TYH: Fair enough. He may not want to hear it, but let’s face it: Keeping your customers alive longer is just good business.

W: Very good, sir. <turns to Significant Other> And you, ma’am?

S.O.: I’ll have what he’s having.

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