How to eat better to live longer

How to eat better to live longer


  • Carbs, plant proteins, a little meat: these are the main lines of the “Longevity Diet”
  • Close to the Mediterranean diet, characterized by periods of fasting

Yes, the “longevity diet” does exist! Dietary practices may provide a better chance of living longer. That’s according to Professor Walter Longo of the University of South Carolina after he and his team analyzed hundreds of studies on nutrition, disease and longevity along with their work on aging. Their article was published in the journal Cell.

“We have explored the link between nutrients, fasting, genes and longevity in short-lived species and linked these links to clinical and epidemiological studies in humans including centenarians, thus we can begin to identify a long-lived diet that represents a strong basis for dietary recommendations,” defines Professor Walter Longo.

fasting periods

So, concretely, what should we eat to live as long as possible? The answer, according to the authors of this work: A moderate to high intake of carbohydrates from unrefined sources, protein from mainly plant sources, and some vegetable fats for energy needs, all with meals spread over an 11-hour window. With, every 3 to 4 months, a 5-day course of the fasting regimen to help reduce insulin resistance.

Wow the theory. In practice, this results in dishes that include vegetables, some fish, white meat but no red meat or cold cuts, low-sugar seeds, nuts, olive oil, and dark chocolate!

A diet similar to the Mediterranean diet

To validate these elements — or not, the researchers want to conduct a new study involving 500 people that will take place in southern Italy. A place not determined by chance but because the “Longevity Diet” has similarities – but also some differences – with the Mediterranean diet that is widely practiced in this region. Like Sardinia, the island of Okinawa in Japan or the Loma Linda region of California, southern Italy has a large population of centenarians in communities that practice low-protein diets. “Our Continuous Diet is an evolution of these diets, with our recommendation to limit consumption to 12 hours per day and to have several fasting periods per year,” confirms Walter Longo.

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But is such a diet suitable for everyone? “It must be adapted according to gender, age, health status and genetics,” admits the author who cites as an example people over 65 who may need more protein to maintain their body mass. He adds the importance of being accompanied by a health professional in terms of diet “to customize a plan that focuses on small changes that can be adopted for life rather than big changes that definitely lead to a loss of body fat but are followed by a ‘recovery’ of lost fats.” Must be followed.. in moderation!

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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