Live longer with the right diet. How does it work?

carbohydrates, proteins, fats

They describe the core features of what is likely to be the optimal form of nutrition, initially quite technically, as follows: medium to high carbohydrate intake (45 to 60 percent) from high-quality sources; little but enough protein from mostly vegetable sources, 25 to 35 percent mostly vegetable fat.

Translated for everyday use in the kitchen, this means: “Lots of legumes, whole grains and vegetables, some fish, no red or processed meats and very little white meat, little sugar and refined grains, good amounts of nuts and oil olive oil and some dark chocolate,” Longo said in a statement. It is optimal to eat only within a daily time window of eleven to twelve hours and insert several fasting phases per year.

Longevity is Longo’s life theme, so to speak: he is director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California in the US and the author of several books. On the home page he gives advice on how to stay young and lists the so-called recipes for longevity. They may disappoint meat lovers, but they don’t sound entirely unfriendly to pleasure: couscous with fish, Tuscan bread salad, and pasta with aubergines. Longo also founded a company with products for fasting concepts, which he states in the study addendum.

there is no solution

In their work, Longo and Anderson emphasize that an anti-aging diet must be tailored to the individual. There is no single solution that is as suitable for a fit 20-year-old as it is for a 60-year-old with a metabolic disease. Gender, age, lifestyle, health status and genes should be taken into account, they write. For example, people over 65 may need extra protein, they say.

For Kristina Norman, an aging researcher at the German Institute for Human Nutrition, these adjustments are a very important point: “In old age, it is often difficult to eat enough protein. Too little can lead to muscle breakdown and, as a result, as a result , at an increased risk of falls and fractures. So it may be advisable to eat a little more meat than is generally recommended.”

The author duo can look back on a wide range of work: from studies on yeast fungi, worms or flies to clinical data and models. There are also findings about traditional nutrition in places where many people age.

Different Evidence Summarized

“It would be very difficult to do a study where a group is assigned Longo’s recommended diet and final life expectancy is compared to a control group, so the authors approach this by pooling disparate evidence,” Norman said. He finds Longo’s and Anderson’s theses to be convincingly documented.

There are many parallels with well-known recommendations, such as those of the German Nutrition Society, and also with a menu that scientists proposed some time ago for a healthy and, at the same time, environmentally friendly diet. “Contrary to popular belief, recommendations for healthy eating don’t change every few years. They’re generally very stable,” Norman said. “The Longo study may look old, but the topic has been rethought and is increasingly supported by evidence.”

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