What’s a 101-Year-Old Doctor’s Secret to Good Health?

Dr. Howard Tucker recently turned 101 last month. The neurologist, who was born in 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, still works full-time and lives with his wife of 66 years.

Insider’s recent article entitled, “A 101-year-old neurologist who still works full time shares what he eats in a day,” says that Tucker told the mindbodygreen podcast that while his genetics likely account for his sharpness, he thinks maintaining an interest in the world around you through work or meaningful volunteering, having loving relationships, and a youthful mindset are the keys to his longevity.

He also stays active, running two to three miles on a treadmill a few times a week, has an “everything-in-moderation” attitude, and doesn’t smoke. His diet consists mainly of fruit, vegetables, and fish. He also said that he and his wife focus on fruit for breakfast, choosing whatever is in season. They usually eat citrus fruits in the winter and melon during the summer. They drink 2% reduced-fat milk and are big fans of tea rather than coffee.

Tucker said that he usually skips lunch because it makes him feel more efficient and prevents him from getting drowsy at work. This is different from intermittent fasting, where food is limited to a certain window of time, often for weight loss purposes or other purported health benefits.

But remember that intermittent fasting isn’t considered safe for everyone, such as those with a history of eating disorders, and the consensus around whether skipping meals is beneficial or not, particularly for seniors, is mixed.

But Insider has previously reported growing evidence that intermittent fasting can slow aging and reduce the risk of many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Tucker said he often has fish and vegetables — including a ton of broccoli — for dinner and has meat occasionally.

He didn’t discuss any sources of starchy carbohydrates in his diet in the podcast episode.

The doc said he and his wife like to indulge in something sweet after dinner, sometimes fruit, and other times a bit of ice cream, which he said isn’t so bad for you.

However, he noted that they rarely eat baked goods like cakes or pies.

Tucker’s typical dinner adheres to the Mediterranean diet, which has long been considered the gold standard for healthy eating.

The diet focuses on vegetables, healthy fats such as olive oil, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains. Studies indicate that the eating plan can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and promote brain health.

Reference: Insider (Aug. 9, 2023) “A 101-year-old neurologist who still works full time shares what he eats in a day”

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