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Health, Santa Monica, Columnist, Dr Mao

Simple Secrets To Staying Young: Dr. Mao's Wellness Living

Dr. Mao Shing Ni
Courtesy Photo
Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Posted Sep. 29, 2013, 8:54 am

Dr. Mao Shing Ni / Mirror Columnist

We live in a culture obsessed with staying young, and we are always on the search for the fountain of youth. We spend hours at the gym or in yoga class and make sure we get the right vitamins and nutrients to live longer and look younger.

However, it’s not always what’s on your plate that can increase your longevity, but what is not on your plate that may add years to your life. Continue reading the following tips to learn easy swaps that will keep your clock ticking loudly for years to come!

Don’t Take The Sweet Poison

While our bodies require carbohydrates for energy, it is important that we acquire them from the right sources. While sugar can fuel our engines, too much of the wrong kind can zap our energy and make our skin sag — not a prescription for staying forever young!

If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to reconsider grabbing that sugar-glazed cookie. Commercially produced cakes, muffins, juices, candies, sweet cereals, sweetened yogurts, and all other refined carbohydrates can overload insulin pathways. This can in turn affect your blood vessels and accelerate aging.

Excess sugar intake can also cause your skin to break out and increase inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can eventually increase risk for developing diabetes and other chronic diseases. Disease can cause rapid aging; to make sure your skin stays vibrant and clear and your blood vessels are elastic, limit your intake of added sugar to no more than 10 percent of your daily calorie intake. That means if you consume 1500 calories each day, no more than 150 calories should come from added sugars.

Smart Swap: When that sweet craving hits, don’t turn to confections. Instead, freeze your favorite fruit like a banana or grapes ahead of time. Eat as is or blend with some almond milk and unsweetened cocoa powder for a healthy and delicious smoothie!

Please Don’t Pass The Salt

Just about everything that comes in a can, box, or other packaged items in the grocery store contains sodium. Sodium is an essential positive ion and an essential electrolyte required for our body to function.

It helps to conduct electric signals throughout the body and without it the body would suffer. Many foods like kelp, seaweed, seafood, and greens contain natural amounts of sodium.

However, we are overdosing on salt with the amounts of commercially prepared foods we consume today.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg of daily sodium because anything greater can lead to the development of the “silent killer” — hypertension, or high blood pressure. Too much sodium can increase fluid retention, which can contribute to looking bloated. Excess sodium may also weaken blood vessel walls and affect the way our skin looks.

Smart Swap: If you crave salt, try using more dried and fresh herbs in your dishes. After a while your taste buds will adjust. Stay away from processed meats like cold cuts and smoked fish, canned foods, frozen meals, and most commercially-prepared foods — choose fresh instead.

Be careful when dining out because most chefs tend to over season food with salt.

Always ask for any dressings or sauces on the side and shop for sodium-free items. When reading the back of the nutrition facts label make sure the sodium percentage isn’t greater than 5 percent per serving.

Bonus Tip: For young and vibrant-looking skin give my herbal Exquisite Skin formula a try.

In Vino Es Wrinkles

You may have heard that sipping on some wine is healthy and may even improve cardiovascular health.

While drinking red wine in moderation may be okay for some individuals, the truth is that you can increase your health and longevity in multiple other ways.

Alcohol can increase your appetite, especially for salty, sugary snack foods — a triple whammy! In addition, alcohol can dehydrate you while it increases bloating.

Drinking can also cause puffy, under-eye circles, not the best way to stay fresh and young-looking.

If you choose to have some wine, limit yourself to no more than four fluid ounces and make sure to drink a glass of water right after. It is important to be aware of your limits to prevent alcohol intoxication and binge drinking.

Excess alcohol intake can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, cardiovascular disease, cancer and, of course, accelerated aging.

Smart Swap: When out on the town, you may find you get by very happily with a mocktail or water with lemon. Other great options that aren’t packed with sugar include tea, lemonade, fresh fruit and veggie juice, a fruit-sweetened smoothie, or even kombucha.

If you choose to have a drink, keep in mind that a standard drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 4 to 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. According to the USDA, moderate drinking is defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine, and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter, visit To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at

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Sep. 30, 2013, 1:10:28 am

Amal Richard said...

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