Depending on which genes you received from birth, your body may have a long and healthy future that will stretch for decades to come. And, oddly enough, your diet directly affects how much you are allowed by nature.
Gerontologist Walter Longo from The University of Southern California in the USA is convinced that there is an optimal formula for fasting and diet that can give us the best chance to maximize life expectancy.
To understand what this formula might look like, Longo and his colleague Rosalyn Anderson from the University of Wisconsin studied the literature on the life expectancy and nutrition of various living beings, correlating all this with our own species.
“We investigated the relationship between nutrients, starvation, genes and longevity in short-lived species and connected these links with clinical and epidemiological studies on primates and ??people, including centenarians,” says Longo.
How the elderly should eat
Of course, the only prescribed method of nutrition is unlikely to ever become a universal approach. Just as differences in eating habits bring a lot of pros and cons to the health of other species, from simple microbes to worms and mammals like us, our own differences in genes and developmental stages will determine the risks and benefits of different foods.
People over the age of 65, for example, may need to add a little more protein to their diet, just to make sure that there is enough material in their body to build up falling body weight and protect against growing weakness of the body.
Although more research is needed to determine the details (which Longo has already planned), the types of food we should focus on are already quite clear. According to Longo, a good amount of unrefined carbohydrates, vegetable proteins and a sufficient amount of vegetable fats will satisfy just under a third of your energy needs — this is exactly what you need for a healthy well-being.
“Lots of legumes, whole grains and vegetables; a little fish; no red meat or processed meat and very little white meat; little sugar and refined grains; a good amount of nuts and olive oil and a little dark chocolate,” are the recommendations that the gerontologist gives.
Fasting: benefit or harm?
In addition to what is put on the plate, those who want to enjoy a quiet old age will also need to plan when to eat. This should be done for twelve hours with a five-day fasting cycle every three to four months, which, according to the expert, will help control blood pressure and reduce the risk of insulin resistance.
It should be noted that Longo owns a stake in a company that produces food products that simulate fasting, which means that it is important to treat such studies with a healthy degree of skepticism. Nevertheless, there is nothing excessively controversial in the fact that he recommends limiting the consumption of red meat, increasing the proportion of vegetable proteins in the diet and from time to time refusing to eat — these measures are generally recognized to reduce the risk of premature death.