More veggies = less death?

I eat lots (1/2 -1 lb at every lunch and dinner) of green (and yellow, and red…) veggies.  Sweet potatoes are a constant source of complex carbs (slow to digest, and raise blood sugar less) for me.  When traveling, I often substitute fruit (apples), which are easier to find in airports – I may have 3 apples for lunch with a turkey (extra meat, mustard, no mayo or cheese) sandwich on the road.

This recent article shows that people (hopefully ME!) who have higher levels of carotenoids in their blood live longer.  They die less from all causes, cancer, and/or heart disease.


Food sources of beta-carotene include sweet potatoescarrotskalespinachturnip greenswinter squashcollard greens, cilantro and fresh thyme. To maximize the availability of the carotenoids in the foods listed above, the foods should be eaten raw or steamed lightly.

These “association” studies are always a little difficult to interpret.  Are the veggies protective?  Probably… but, it might also be because wealthier people eat more veggies AND also have lower mortality.  Eating veggies might conceivably not be the cause of longer survival, just an innocent bystander.

In the meantime, I will continue with my vegetable-centric eating.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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