You might have heard of the Longevity Food plan, and its promise to increase life – however what precisely is it and is it completely different from different diets that promote good well being?
The Longevity Food plan is a set of consuming suggestions compiled by biochemist Walter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute on the College of Southern California. He’s recognized for his analysis on the function of fasting, the impact of vitamins in your genes and the way they will have an effect on getting old and illness threat.
Whereas the extended-release weight-reduction plan was aimed on the aged, it is usually really helpful for younger adults. Longo mentioned he plans to dwell to 120 by following the weight-reduction plan.
So what does the weight-reduction plan appear like?
Meals on this weight-reduction plan are greens, together with leafy greens, fruits, nuts, beans, olive oil, and seafood, that are low in mercury.
So a lot of the meals within the Longevity Food plan are plant-based. Plant-based diets are usually excessive in nutritional vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants, and low in saturated fat and salt, which ends up in well being advantages.
Meals that aren’t really helpful are extra meat and dairy merchandise, and people excessive in processed sugar and saturated fats.
For individuals who don’t want to not eat dairy merchandise, the Lengthy Life Food plan advises switching from cow’s milk to goat’s milk or sheep’s milk, which include barely completely different vitamins. However there may be little proof that sheep and goat milk present extra well being advantages.
Together with fermented dairy merchandise (corresponding to cheese and yogurt) in your weight-reduction plan, as really helpful within the long-life weight-reduction plan, is helpful as a result of it supplies a extra widespread microbiome (good micro organism) than any milk.
Have you ever seen this weight-reduction plan earlier than?
Lots of you could acknowledge this as a well-recognized consuming sample. It’s much like the Mediterranean weight-reduction plan, particularly since they each include olive oil as the popular oil. The Mediterranean weight-reduction plan is bolstered and supported by a big physique of proof for selling well being, lowering illness threat, and selling longevity.
The Longevity Food plan can be much like lots of the nationwide, evidence-based dietary tips, together with the Australian Dietary Pointers.
Two-thirds of the meals really helpful within the Australian Dietary Pointers come from plant meals (grains, cereals, legumes, beans, fruit and veggies). The rules additionally present plant-based alternate options to protein (corresponding to dried beans, lentils, and tofu) and dairy merchandise (corresponding to soy milk, yogurt, and cheese, so long as they’re fortified with calcium).
One other facet of the longevity weight-reduction plan is outlined fasting intervals, often called intermittent fasting. The weight-reduction plan requires consuming inside a 12-hour timeframe, and never consuming for 3 to 4 hours earlier than bedtime.
Often with intermittent fasting folks quick for 16-20 hours with a window of 4 to eight hours for consuming. Another choice for intermittent fasting is the 5:2 weight-reduction plan, during which meals consumption is restricted to about 2000-3000 kilojoules for 2 days of the week and for the opposite 5 days, eat usually.
Proof means that intermittent fasting could enhance insulin resistance, leading to higher blood glucose management. This could scale back the chance of creating sort 2 diabetes and different persistent ailments, corresponding to coronary heart illness and weight problems.
Keep a wholesome weight
The Longevity Food plan recommends that people who find themselves chubby eat solely two meals a day – breakfast and both a noon or night meal – plus solely two low-sugar snacks. That is to attempt to scale back your consumption of kilojoules to shed some pounds.
One other vital facet of this advice is to scale back snacks, particularly meals excessive in saturated fats, salt, or sugar. These are the meals we normally discuss with as discretionary meals/typically meals or ultra-processed meals. These present little dietary worth, and in some circumstances are related to worse well being outcomes.
Eat a rainbow of colours
The Longevity Food plan recommends consuming nutrient-dense meals, which most nationwide dietary tips additionally advocate for. This implies consuming a weight-reduction plan wealthy in plant meals, and a wide range of meals inside every meals group.
Every colourful fruit and vegetable accommodates completely different vitamins, so it is strongly recommended to eat a mixture of colourful fruit and veggies. The advice to decide on a mixture of complete grains somewhat than refined grains, bread, pasta and rice additionally displays the perfect dietary proof.
Proscribing protein consumption
This weight-reduction plan recommends proscribing protein consumption to 0.68-0.80 grams per kilogram of physique weight per day. That is 47-56 grams of protein per day for a 70-kg particular person. For reference, every of those meals accommodates about 10g of protein: 2 small eggs, 30g cheese, 40g lean rooster, 250ml dairy milk, 3/4 cup lentils, 120g tofu, 60g nuts or 300ml soy milk . That is consistent with authorities suggestions.
Most Australians simply eat this degree of protein of their weight-reduction plan. Nonetheless, it’s the aged inhabitants, focused by the long-lived weight-reduction plan, who’re least prone to meet their protein wants.
Within the long-lived weight-reduction plan, it is strongly recommended that a lot of the protein comes from plant sources or from fish. This will likely require particular planning to make sure a full vary of all vitamins wanted if the weight-reduction plan is brief on purple meat.
Are there any issues with this weight-reduction plan?
This weight-reduction plan recommends taking a vitamin and mineral complement each three to 4 days. Longo says this prevents malnutrition and will not trigger any dietary issues.
Nonetheless, many well being authorities together with the World Most cancers Analysis Fund, the British Coronary heart Basis and the American Coronary heart Affiliation don’t suggest taking dietary dietary supplements to stop most cancers or coronary heart illness.
Dietary supplements ought to solely be taken on the recommendation of your physician, after a blood take a look at that exhibits a deficiency in a specific nutrient. It’s because some nutritional vitamins and minerals could also be dangerous in massive quantities.
If you’re consuming a wide range of meals in all the meals teams, you might be assembly all your dietary necessities and you shouldn’t want supplementation.
This extended-release weight-reduction plan is a compilation of many points of evidence-based wholesome consuming patterns. We actually encourage these as a result of they enhance our well being and scale back the chance of persistent illness. All of those points of wholesome consuming can result in elevated longevity.
What will not be talked about within the Life Extension Food plan is the significance of train for good well being and an extended life.
Evangeline Mantzuris is the Director of the Vitamin and Meals Science Program and a Licensed Practitioner Dietitian on the College of South Australia. This piece first appeared in The Dialog.