A healthy diet is undoubtedly the first and most important factor on which to intervene to influence the duration of our lives. In this article we will talk about the longevity diet and the principles on which it is based.
The longevity diet
Most of the components of our diet are not only foods but also powerful molecules that can determine important changes in our bodies. Their role is fundamental in the aging process and in relation to possible diseases.
We all heard the expression: "We are what we eat". It is important to keep a diet that gives us pleasure but it is equally important to eliminate or minimize the nutrients that can make us live less long or sick, increasing a daily lifestyle that can make us live longer, in good health and happy. That is why the longevity diet was born.
The longevity diet was created by Professor Valter Longo after years and years of research around the world. Professor Valter Longo focused a lot on the study of lifestyle and nutrition of the so-called Blue Zones, the areas where there is the highest number of over-centenaries. The pillars on which it is based and the studies carried out are all found in "The Longevity Diet" book that you can receive for free through this link.
Keep reading to find out the 10 points on which the longevity diet is based.
The 10 points of the longevity diet
- Vegan/ fish diet: Adopt a healthy diet that is as close as possible to a 100% plant-based diet (legumes, vegetables, fruits, etc.) with the consumption of fish, trying to limit it to 2-3 meals a week and avoiding the one containing high percentages of mercury.
- Protein few but enough. Consume every day about 0.7-0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. As for dietary changes in general, protein intake should increase slightly after 65-70 years in individuals who lose weight and muscle mass and should be around 10-20% more.
- Minimize fat and bad sugars and maximize good fats and complex carbohydrates. Proper nutrition must be rich in good unsaturated fats, such as those contained in salmon, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, and very low in saturated and hydrogenated fats. It must be rich in complex carbohydrates such as those provided by whole wheat bread and vegetables, low in sugar, but also low in sources of carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, bread and fruit juices that are easily converted into sugar once they reach the intestine.
- Provide all the nutrients. Our body needs proteins, essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), minerals, vitamins and even a part of sugars. When nutrient intake such as omega-3, protein, vitamin B12, zinc or calcium becomes deficient, the body’s repair, replacement and defense systems may stop working or work at a lower rate, allowing damage to accumulate or bacteria and viruses to proliferate. Take vitamin and mineral complexes in pills every 2-3 days and fish oil for omega-3, all produced by well-referenced companies.
- Eat by selecting the right ingredients from those that our ancestors ate. The best thing is to take all the necessary nutrients from foods normally found on the tables of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. The human body is the result of billions of years of evolution, but even the last thousand have helped to select the most suitable individuals for their environment. For example, in many countries of Northern Europe where milk is consumed regularly intolerance to lactose is relatively rare, while it is very common in countries in Southern Europe and Asia where historically milk consumption is not as common. When you choose to eat specific foods, always ask yourself if they were among those commonly consumed by your ancestors.
- Make 2 meals a day plus 1 snack. The best thing is to have breakfast and a meal, plus a low-calorie but nutritious snack. If you are losing weight unintentionally, eat 3 times a day plus a snack. We often hear that we should eat small meals 5-6 times a day, but there is not enough evidence to support this theory and most people find it difficult to regulate their food intake by eating so often. If you only eat 2 meals plus one snack per day and the important meal is only one, it becomes much more difficult to eat in excess, especially if our diet is based on vegetables and fish.
- Periodically practice a prolonged fast. People under the age of 65 who are not wasting, ill-nourished or suffering from pathologies should follow twice or more times a year, for 5 days the ProLon diet – Fasting Mimicking Diet. Most religions in the past practiced some form of fasting to duplicate themselves.
- Reduce the hours of the day when you eat. Another common practice adopted by many centenary groups is reducing hours you eat or do it within 12 hours or less a day (for example, have breakfast after 8 and finish dinner before 8).
- The longevity diet as an optimal feeding system and not only as a diet. For most people the longevity diet can be adopted by replacing a limited number of foods with other equally appetizing foods. This healthy diet has similarities to other commonly adopted dietary regimens that make it easy to adopt worldwide.
- Keep your body weight and abdominal circumference under control. The abundant waist size and abdominal fat are often associated with an increased incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disorders. A waistline of more than 102 cm for men and 89 cm for women doubles the risk of premature death compared to a lower waistline of 86 cm for men and 71 cm for women.
Do you want more information about the longevity diet and the Fasting Mimicking Diet? Book your nutritional consultation now. It’s free!