Longevity Diet: What To Eat and How Does It Work?

Longevity Diet: What To Eat and How Does It Work?

Healthy living for longer is better than just living longer. People usually talk about living for long, but with age they get closer to many diseases and spend their last 5-10 years being sick. How about you live a longer life as well as a healthy life by changing your dietary habits and following a longevity diet?

Longevity diet is a diet type developed by Valter Longo, an Italian-American biogerontologist and biologist. This diet plan mainly targets older adults and help them live a long and healthy life. However, it also benefits people of all age groups.

What is Longevity Diet?

Foods play a vital role in the overall functioning of the body parts and organs and also affect the ageing process. Our dietary choices decide whether we are going to live healthy and longer. Eating foods depending on our choices is good, but it does not mean to eat unhealthily and reduce our lifespan by getting sick.

Longevity diet is a proven diet plan that involves eating more plant-based foods, fasting window, minimal intake of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids and no or a very small amount of meats and dairy products. Longevity diet is more like a lifestyle change than just a diet type.

How Does it Work?

Several studies suggest that foods which are high in protein and saturated fat are responsible for the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and many other diseases. As longevity diet is mainly a plant-centric diet plan, it maximises the chances of living a healthy and long life by reducing the mortality risk due to these diseases.

The reason why a small amount of fish is included in the diet plan is because only consuming plant-based foods may cause deficiency of certain essential nutrients in the body. Therefore, eating fish will help provide vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids and protein to the body. These three nutrients keep the blood cells and nerves healthy as well as repair damaged tissues.

Benefits of Longevity Diet

  • Helps to lose weight for good health.

  • Prevent age-related muscle decline and bone loss.

  • Maintain the cell repair functioning of the body which usually declines with age.

  • Provide strong protection against age-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer.

  • Helps a person live longer and healthy by keeping all diseases at bay.

What To Eat

Here is the list of foods recommended for the longevity diet plan.

  • Green and fibre-rich vegetables
  • Olive oil (cut out other oils)
  • Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna or ones rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Low-mercury seafood
  • Beans and legumes
  • Fresh fruits
  • Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, cashews. Avoid oil roasted nuts.

Some Details For Longevity Diet

  • People under 65 should take a small amount of protein (both plant and animal-based) while people over 65 should go with a little increase in protein intake. This is because after the age 65, the muscles start declining and protein helps in repairing and building body tissues.

  • Consider eating in a 12-hour window frame i.e. morning 7-8 am to evening 7-8 pm. This helps prevent extra eating and also maintains your body metabolism and help you sleep better.

  • Remember not to fast for longer and never miss out on breakfast.

  • If you are overweight, consider eating two meals while those who are healthy can have three meals a day.

  • Limit the calorie intake to 1100 per day (60 per cent fats, 30 per cent carbohydrates and 10 per cent protein).

  • People with diabetes are recommended to decrease the fasting period according to their health.

  • People under the age 70 with no chronic diseases, are healthy and properly nourished and exercise regularly can also opt for a five-day dietary intervention called "Fasting Mimicking Diet". It should be carried out only if a medical expert suggests.