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Nutrition

Your Guide to The Longevity Diet

Most of us would like to extend our lives and live longer. As we get older, people often wish they had more time to live and enjoy the world around them.

With the concept of the longevity diet, you may be able to. 

Today we are sharing with you all you need to know about the longevity diet so you can determine if this is something you’d like to give a try. Read on to see if this diet is what your life is missing.

The Longevity Diet

For decades, biochemist Valter Longo has been working to determine connections between nutrition and aging well. He is in charge of the Longevity Institute at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. This institute works on figuring out how to extend life spans by looking at how to prevent and treat issues related to aging (including major ones like cancer and cardiovascular disease). 

The longevity diet focuses not only on living longer but on living a longer life that is more physically and mentally healthy. Because who wants to live longer if you’re just in misery? 

The longevity diet itself is based on a mix of studies of centenarians (people who are 100+ years old), science, and clinical data. This, combined with a period diet that mimics fasting, has proven to produce great benefits for aging and lowering the risk of disease. 

The Eating Timeframe

Intermittent Fasting for Women

The longevity diet focuses on eating specific groups of food as well as limiting the time frame in which you eat. 

As part of the longevity diet, it is suggested that you keep all of your eating for the day in a 12-hour period and have 12 hours of fasting. That means if you eat the first food of the day at 8 a.m., then you should eat your last meal of the day before 8 p.m. 

If you eat for 15 hours a day or more, it can lead your body to have issues with metabolism and sleep. However, fasting for too long can lead to other issues such as gallstone problems, and studies have shown that skipping breakfast may increase your chances of cardiovascular disease. That’s why keeping a healthy eating schedule remains important when on the longevity diet. 

Minimize Protein

One of the main focuses of the longevity diet is not consuming a great deal of protein. This goes against a lot of other diets that focus on increasing your body’s intake of protein. This is age-dependent, and the longevity diet suggests that if you are below the age of 65, you should keep your daily protein consumption to between 0.31-0.36 grams per pound of your body weight. If you are over 65, you want a bit more protein to help preserve muscle mass.

However, where you get that protein from matters, so don’t start cooking up a steak just to get those grams in. With this diet, you are to eat mostly vegan with some fish two or three nights a week. The fish you choose should be high in omega-3s, omega-6s, and vitamin B12. Think of things like salmon, anchovies, cod, trout, clams, and shrimp. 

salmon fish fillet with fresh herbs

Consume Good Fats and Veggies

Longo suggests that you minimize the amount of saturated fats you get from things like meat, cheese, and sugar and instead focus on eating more good fats and complex carbs. Unlike other diets, the longevity diet promotes eating whole grains and vegetables with lots of olive oil.

The best veggies for you to eat on this diet include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots

Nuts are also important in this diet, but limit yourself to one ounce today, so you aren’t getting too out of hand with the fats. 

Almonds are a healthy snack

The Number of Meals a Day

The number of meals you eat a day is also something to consider with this diet. If you are someone who struggles with your weight and gains weight easily, then you should limit yourself to two meals a day. That means breakfast and either lunch or dinner. In addition to those meals, allow yourself two snacks that are each less than 100 calories and have less than five grams of sugar. 

If you don’t struggle with your weight or are over the age of 65, then it is recommended for you to eat three meals a day plus one snack that has less than 100 calories and less than 5 grams of sugar. 

Many people compare the foods consumed on this diet to a Mediterranean diet. This means lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, good fats from nuts, olive oil, and avocado, and seafood a few times a week. With this diet, you limit the amount of dairy, eggs, meat, and sweets you eat. 

Longevity or Mediterranean diets include salmon, nuts and avocado. Healthy fats

In a Keck School of Medicine interview with Longo, he stated, “in the aging field, we are labeled as people preaching to eat less. But I am actually recommending eating more, with large dishes and a lot of food on them . . . It just has to be the right foods in the right amounts. For example, you can combine maybe two ounces of pasta with seven ounces of garbanzo beans, four ounces of vegetables, and about three tablespoons of olive oil.” 

According to the longevity diet, this is the perfect balance of protein, vitamins, minerals, and simple carbohydrates to give you what you need and keep you feeling full. 

The Longevity Diet for Different Stages in Your Life

Part of the longevity diet is paying attention to where you are in your life and eating accordingly. Longo has developed different eating habits people should adopt on this diet that depend on their phase in life. 

Making this diet a part of your life is safe for all stages in life, and Longo has developed varieties of the longevity diet for the following:

  • Adults
  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women
  • Children and adolescents 

There are slight differences between each – for example, pregnant women have more specific guidelines to follow, including more of a variety in your diet as well as keeping cooked and raw foods separate. However, for the most part, the rules for the longevity diet remain the same. 

Want to give intermittent fasting a try? Take a look at Prime Women’s PLATE program. Now available in an app on Apple or Android with reminders to keep you on track. If you’re worried about being hungry while intermittent fasting, try our program for 5-day ProLon fasting with food, or you can use FastBar to avoid temptation and help you find success (as a bonus, you can use code PRIME for either product to save money when making a purchase).

As with any dietary changes, be sure to check with your doctor before these suggestions into your own lifestyle. The information provided here is solely for educational purposes and not intended as medical advice. 

Read Next:

Super-Aging: Insights into Longevity and Living Well

How Longevity Medicine Is Changing How We Live

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