The Best Longevity Diet: More Carbs, Fasting, and Less Protein

Researchers have analyzed hundreds of studies to determine the diet that optimizes human health and longevity. They found that diets low in animal protein, high in complex carbohydrates and including periods of fasting are most beneficial for long-term health and lifespan. The researchers note, however, that their results only provide a basis for understanding and that, in practice, diets should be tailored to individual needs and circumstances.

Around 440 BC, the Greek physician Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and let your medicine be food.” Although treating food as medicine is a much-debated concept, numerous recent studies have demonstrated the wisdom of this statement and how controlling the amount, type and timing of food consumption is crucial for good health. health. However, what precisely constitutes the optimal diet remains controversial. A growing body of evidence suggests that optimal diets may depend on an interplay of health factors, including age, gender and genetics.

Recently, researchers reviewed hundreds of nutrition studies, from cellular to epidemiological perspectives, to identify a “common dietary denominator” for healthy longevity. They found that diets with medium to high levels of unrefined carbohydrates, a low but adequate intake of plant-based protein, and regular fish consumption were linked to longer lifespans and health status.

For Dr Valter Longo, one of the authors of the study: “First of all, the diet here is conceived as a nutritional lifestyle and not as a ‘weight loss strategy’, although the maintenance of a healthy weight is essential. All aspects of diet are linked to long-term health and longevity. Generally, when we think of a longevity diet, the first thing that comes to mind is what we can add to our diet to live longer. This article is important in raising awareness that the most striking benefits of all species studies have come from limiting diet or fasting. This article was originally published in the journal CellTrusted Source.

The basics of the longevity diet

For the study, researchers analyzed hundreds of studies examining nutrition and delayed aging in short-lived species, nutrient response pathways, calorie restriction, fasting, and diets with various macronutrients and compositional levels, like the keto diet. Studies have analyzed nutrition and diet from multiple angles, from cell and animal studies to clinical and epidemiological research into the lifestyle of centenarians.

In the end, the researchers found that the “longevity diet” includes:

– A pescatarian or vegetarian diet rich in legumes and whole grains.
– 30% of calories from vegetable fats such as nuts and olive oil
– a diet poor but sufficient in protein until the age of 65, then a moderate protein intake
– Low in sugar and refined carbohydrates
– No red or processed meat
– Little white meat
– 12 hours of meals and 12 hours of fasting per day
– about three cycles per year of a diet mimicking the five-day fast.

The researchers also noted that, rather than targeting a certain number of calories, diets should aim to keep BMI below 25 and maintain ideal levels of fat mass and lean mass according to gender and age. ‘age. Additionally, they wrote that diets should be tailored to individual needs, especially for people over 65, to avoid malnutrition. People over 65, for example, can become frail from a low-protein diet.

For people without insulin resistance or obesity, high consumption of complex carbohydrates could reduce frailty in this age group and others, the researchers wrote, because it provides energy without increasing insulin and activating glucose signaling pathways. The researchers also found that periodic fasting between the ages of 18 and 70 could reverse the insulin resistance generated by a high-calorie diet and regulate blood pressure, total cholesterol and inflammation. A recent study confirms these results. She found that switching from the typical Western diet to a diet high in legumes, whole grains and nuts, with a reduction in red and processed meats, is linked to an increase in life expectancy of 8 years if the we start at 60.

Underlying mechanisms

The researchers noted that diets involving caloric and protein restriction were consistently beneficial, whether in short-lived species or in epidemiological studies and large clinical trials. They also noted that a low but adequate protein intake, or a recommended protein intake with high levels of pulse consumption, could increase life expectancy by reducing the intake of amino acids, especially methionine. Methionine has been associated with increased activity in various pro-aging cellular pathways.

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This diet is primarily plant-based, which, based on other similar studies, may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Plant-based diets have also been associated with lower levels of inflammation in multiple studies. Since inflammation is at the root of many diseases, this could also contribute to longevity factors. The researchers conclude that their findings provide a solid foundation for future research into nutritional recommendations for healthy longevity.


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