Rob Gronkowski says Tom Brady helped him quit processed sugar, and he believes that's one reason he's still playing at the top of his game

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  • Rob Gronkowski is still one of the league's best tight ends at the age of 32.

  • He says he's followed some of his teammate Tom Brady's diet choices to maintain his longevity.

  • One big tip Gronkowski follows is avoiding processed sugar and most processed foods overall.

Rob Gronkowski reaps the benefits of playing alongside Tom Brady, both on the field and off it.

The 32-year-old Pro Bowl tight end told Insider he learned to cut certain foods out of his diet by watching Brady and following some of his health habits.

The biggest cut for Gronkowski is processed sugar.

"I love desserts, but it has to all be naturally grown ingredients," Gronkowski said. "I'll have sugar, but it has to be some organic cane sugar or organic brown sugar, not some synthetic sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Just all-natural products, all-natural food."

Brady is the only starting quarterback Gronkowski has played with professionally. They played nine seasons together for the New England Patriots from 2010 to 2018, winning three Super Bowls. Gronkowski watched Brady age from 33 to 41 in that time but play at the same level and even improve in some respects as he got older.

Gronkowski temporarily retired from football after the 2018 season but then came back to join Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.

Brady, 44, has removed several food groups and ingredients from his diet, according to his 2017 book "The TB12 Method," which he and his longtime body coach Alex Guerrero spun off into a health and wellness brand.

"I just learned that over time by watching him eat, obviously everything he's putting in his body from desserts to the meal that he's eating is all clean products, it's all clean foods," Gronkowski said in an interview to promote his cleats, made in partnership with USAA, the USO, and his own Gronk Nation Youth Foundation for this year's NFL My Cause My Cleats campaign.

Processed sugar can lead to obesity and increase the risk of life-threatening diseases

Sugar is naturally found in many foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and even nuts and seeds. But that sugar is often extracted and refined into ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, which is found in many packaged foods in America.

Consuming large amounts of refined sugar has consistently been linked to obesity and excess belly fat, a risk factor for conditions like diabetes and heart disease, depression, dementia, liver disease, and certain types of cancer in multiple studies, according to Healthline.

Popular forms of natural sugars include honey and maple syrup. These appear to offer slightly more nutrients with fewer health risks than refined sugars but should still be consumed in moderation.

Read the original article on Insider