What is the secret to living a long, healthy life? A Place For Mom, an assisted living referral service, sought to find the answer to that eternal question. The website dug through interviews with centenarians to compile their tips on leading a long life — and some of them are actually pretty surprising!
The company analyzed 100 interviews with people who lived until at least 100 years old. It found that while 25 percent followed traditional healthy living advice, such as eating a healthy diet, 29 percent pretty much ignored it.
Take for instance, Agnes Fenton, who believed that consuming three Miller High Life beers and a glass of whiskey every day helped her live until 112 years old. (For what it's worth, Fenton died in August 2017.)
In fact, about 16 percent of centenarians said drinking alcohol every day was the secret to longevity. This actually tracks with a recent (though highly flawed) study claiming that moderate alcohol use (i.e., two glasses of wine or beer per day) was linked to longevity.
So what did these centenarians have to say for themselves? Here's a breakdown of the 10 most reoccurring habits:
- 29 percent ignored traditional diet advice
- 25 percent ate a healthy diet
- 22 percent remained active into old age
- 18 percent adopted a positive attitude
- 16 percent regularly consumed alcohol
- 12 percent didn't drink or smoke
- 10 percent fostered close relationships
- 8 percent got enough sleep
- 9 percent were kind
- 9 percent were religious
Naturally, there were plenty of offbeat words of wisdom. Leandra Becerra Lumbreras, who died at 127 years old, attributes her long life to eating plenty of chocolate and never marrying. Besse Cooper, who lived until she was 116, says staying out of other people's business and not eating junk food was the key to living past 100. Or you could just take a advice from the world's oldest living man, Masazo Nonaka: eat plenty of cake and find time to soak in some hot springs.
Of course, these are anecdotal examples, not sound medical advice, so take all of this with a grain of salt. However, there are scientifically proven strategies to will help you live longer: stop smoking, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, eat plenty of vegetables, and avoid binge drinking.
For all 100 tips, check out the original list here.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health US.