Saskatoon

Floss your teeth, and other tips for living to 100

A professor emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan says the key to living a long and happy life may be found in the wisdom of grandparents.

Expert weighs in on Saskatchewan's high rate of centenarians

One of the keys to living a long life, according to an expert at the University of Saskatchewan, is flossing your teeth daily. (CBC)

A professor emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan says the key to living a long and happy life may be simply doing what your grandparents have been telling you to do all along. 

"Having an optimistic outlook and not sweating the small stuff, as they say, is part of it," said Thomas Wilson, who studies longevity.

On a per capita basis, Saskatchewan has more people who've celebrated their 100th birthday than any other province, according to the 2016 census.

"Not many people make it to 100 in this day and age. It looks, on average across all humans, about 12.5 out of 100,000 people," Wilson told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

"We may have just attracted a hardy group of folks."

There is evidence that genetics is an important factor in longevity, he said.

The rest, Wilson believes, comes through clean living.

Staying active and eating a balanced diet is important to longevity, says Thomas Wilson. (Wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)

To your health 

"The most important thing is to have a balanced diet: make sure you get enough protein, carbs and fat, and enough vitamins," said Wilson, "that sort of thing."

Exercise, he said, is important, too.

Wilson said there's evidence that drinking wine can cut your risk of cardiovascular disease, and thereby help you live longer, as long as you partake in moderation. 

"It's also enjoyable, so why not?" he said.

One last thing: floss your teeth daily, said Wilson.

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning

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