In a recent long-term study of the eating habits, of 75,000 women and 44,000 men, who followed the US nutritional guidelines over 36 years, Dr Frank Hu made some interesting observations about the longevity diet.

People who improved the health of their diets could improve their risk of dying from:

Cardiovascular disease by 6% to 13%
Cancer by 7% to 18%
Neurodegenerative disease by 7%
Respiratory disease by 35% to 45%

Hu concluded that: It is never too late to adopt healthy dietary patterns to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.

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Fresh Vegetable Basket

What is a longevity diet?

There are five eating habits that you should consider, in order to extend your life expectancy:

  • eat more fresh fruit and vegetables
  • include healthful fats in your diet
  • increase your nut consumption
  • switch to green tea
  • avoid processed meat

Researchers found that diet is one of the factors that can help one to live a long and healthful life. Choosing to eat nutritious high-quality food ai the one factor that is most within the control of the individual.

Eating healthy food does not mean you need to acquire a taste for spinach and collard greens but, a sensible diet of wholesome food with an emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetables is preferable.

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Eldrly Couple Dining Out

The problem with most diets

The problem with most diets is that they don’t take a long-term view of eating patterns. Instead, they focus on short-term benefits like weight loss and improved heart function.

These short-term results are great at achieving a healthy weight with improved metabolic biomarkers but can actually accelerate ageing over time.

While one could argue that public health is a matter for the public. Many factors are involved in the awareness of health issues.

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Old Man Scalinmg a Cliff

A Diet for Cardiovascular disease prevention

The ketogenic or keto diet is a very low carbohydrate diet where you eat only a few sugars and starches. However, you eat lots of protein and lots of fat.

Our bodies are very poor at processing fats. Many fats, especially, long-chain saturated fats can cause inflammation, stimulating our immune cells and overburdening the liver.

While genetics play a part in longer life, Environmental factors like air pollution, wealth and diet also factor highly.

Eating well can give us a lower risk of developing a chronic disease while eating highly processed food can lower life expectancy.

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Old Man about to go Surfing

WHY IS DIET SO IMPORTANT?

Our bodies are incredibly complex biological machines and they require high-quality fuel. Your car will not run well if you use inferior quality petrol or diesel. So, why would you expect your body to run well if you fill the tank with junk food?

Our bodies are constantly renewing themselves at the cellular level using a process known as autophagy. For autophagy to work successfully we must ensure that our cells receive the right vitamins and minerals.

We cannot get the right vitamins and minerals from processed foods.

Is high protein good or bad?

A number of high-protein diets like the classic paleo diet, the Dukan diet or the Atkins diet can produce fantastic weight loss results and improve insulin sensitivity but, when you consider them from an ageing (biogerentological) viewpoint, they can be seen to accelerate ageing in the long term.

LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF CERTAIN “HEALTHY” FOODS AND DIETS

For many years, we have regarded milk as a “healthy” product. But our milk, cow’s milk, has evolved to promote rapid growth in calves.

This should wave a red flag for those people seeking to increase their life span. Because this accelerated growth for calves is likely to accelerate ageing in humans. It will increase the risk of many ageing diseases like heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Old Man Winning the 100m Sprint

LIMIT YOUR RED MEAT INTAKE

Meat, especially red meat, is an important source of protein which is vital for young growing bodies. It is much less important for us as we age.

A plant-based diet will be far better suited to the more senior member of society. One of the important mechanisms that cause us to age, is the accumulation of proteins inside our cells.

This has a role in various ageing diseases which can, ultimately, cause heart failure. The elderly among us, do not need to eat red meat.

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Old Woman High Jump Champion

HOW TO PLAN FOR A HEALTHY DIET

The NOVOS longevity diet has been formulated to give the best long-term health outcomes for a healthy life.

The NOVOS diet has six simple rules:

  • Limit the consumption of bread, potatoes, pasta and rice.
  • Eat more vegetables. This is the basis of the NOVOS longevity diet.
  • Reduce or stop the consumption of red meat.
  • Drink lots of water, supplemented with green tea.
  • Replace animal milk with plant-cased milk or yoghurt.
  • Take Smart Health Supplements. Smart longevity supplements contain alpha-ketoglutarate, fisetin, glycine, NMN, etc

Sweet potato is a very good alternative to normal starchy potatoes. Fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines are much healthier than beef, pork or lamb.

Plant protein is far superior to animal protein.

EAT, FAST AND LIVE LONGER

Dr Valter Longo and Dr Michael Mosely presented a TV documentary analysing the benefits of periodic fasting.

They concluded that following a fasting routine could promote cellular health, protect deoxyribonucleic acid and fight inflammation.

Scientific studies have shown that a diet that incorporates fatty fish (healthy fats) and limits animal fats(unhealthy fats) can increase longevity.

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Synchronised Diving

The first diet to focus on slowing down ageing

The Mediterranean Diet is, perhaps, the best-known diet to focus on slowing the ageing process. The people who live around the Mediterranean Sea are known to live longer, healthier lives.

You might not think that legume consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer or colon cancer you may be surprised to find out that there is a strong link between a reduced risk of BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) and eating pomegranate seeds.

Ditch Ultra-Processed and Packaged Foods

While this article has focused on the foods we should eat. There is one food group we have so far omitted. Processed grub or the foods we shouldn’t eat.

There is a place for convenience food in our busy lives but this place should be kept as small as possible. There is one better diet than good home cooking.

I have so far, avoided the Wahls Protocol. This is a diet and exercise regime devised by Dr Terry Wahls that avoids dairy products and emphasises low sugar intake with generous portions of fresh vegetables.

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Old Woman Wrestling a Grizzly Bear

How to Eat a Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is one of the eating patterns I condone wholeheartedly. This is a dietary plan that makes full use of extra virgin olive oil, whole grains and brown rice.

Your registered dietitian is sure to endorse this olive oil-rich diet because it is great for avoiding heart disease It advocates moderate consumption of refined grains.

Epidemiological studies have found a strong correlation between diets that are low in animal protein and high in complex carbohydrates that include a period of fasting and long-term health and longer living.

A measure of longevity often used in the medical community is telomere length. Put simply, telomeres are caps on the end of chromosomes that protect DNA. When telomere length becomes too short, the cell becomes dysfunctional. Dysfunctional cells are removed from the body by the autophagy process.

Additionally, dysfunctional cells present an increased risk of chronic disease. Following the Mediterranean Diet is linked to longer telomere length.

The same study demonstrated that for each end-point increment in the Mediterranean Diet score the risk of mortality fell by 45 to 7%.

Summary

So, if you wish to avoid a premature death you need to be eating a longevity diet that avoids processed meats. Too many of our modern convenience foods can all cause mortality.

I, for one, have dairy-free, gluten-free dietary patterns that I try to stick to every day.It is difficult to maintain a strict dietary regime and I am not a registered dietitian so all these dietary recommendations are for information purposes only.

I do not, normally, fixate on my own mortality but, my advancing years and the death of a close friend who was 10 years younger than me forced a reality check.

I learned a lot about my own biological function by reading Dr Terry Wahls’ book: the Wahls Protocol. Her teachings have enlightened me on why autoimmune diseases lead to chronic fatigue by not feeding my mitochondria correctly.

I have had Multiple Sclerosis since 1994 and firmly believe that diet has had a huge part in keeping me mobile, relatively pain-free and able to spend time researching and writing articles such as this.

REFERENCES

Health.com
NOVOS Labs
Medical News Today
Real Simple
CNN Edition

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