What we eat has a direct impact with our body’s aging process. And there are certain diets that can increase longevity especially through the autophagy process. Autophagy means to self-eat and is the body’s natural way of getting rid of damaged cells in order for new, healthier cells to be formed.
Certain diets help stimulate that reaction. The team at spermidineLIFE® is taking a closer look at the top three anti-aging diets.
Which Diets Help You Live Longer And Feel Better?
Our lifestyle has a greater impact on our life expectancy that even genetics do. And a lot of that boils down to what we eat. There are certain diets that can help people have a long life expectancy.
One thing we can do despite the diet we choose is to make sure we aren’t overeating. Restricting calories may help reduce body weight and belly fat which can lead to lower life expectancy. But the diets listed below have specific requirements that can add years to your life.
Dr. Valter Long’s Longevity Diet
Dr. Long has studied aging and aging-related diseases during his career. His laboratory has identified some key genetic pathways that regulate aging and how inactivation of those pathways can reduce incidence or progression of diseases. His study has also led to a diet known as the Longevity Diet.
The Longevity Diet is mostly plant-based with occasional fish and lots of nuts and olive oil. Protein is eaten in modest amounts. Here is a closer look at this diet plan:
- Plant-Based - The diet should be mostly vegan with a lot of vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, etc.
- Eat Some Fish - Low-mercury fish with high omega-3, omega-6 and vitamin B2 can be consumed 2-3 times a week. So salmon, anchovies, sardines, cod, clams, shrimp and trout can be consumed.
- Low Protein - Protein intake should be low. Main sources should come from beans, legumes, peas and chickpeas.
- Minimize Saturated Fats And Sugar - This includes both animal and vegetable sources of fat. Sugar should also be kept to a minimum.
- Vitamins And Minerals - The diet should be high in vitamins and minerals with a multivitamin supplement taken every three days.
- Ancestral Diet - Dr. Longo’s book suggests eating a diet that your ancestors would have followed.
- Eating Times - Eat 2-3 meals a day depending on weight, age and abdominal circumference. Eating should be done within a 12 hour period of the day (such as 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.). And you shouldn’t eat within 3-4 hours of bedtime.
For some, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Dr. Longo starts with some tea and bread with low-sugar jelly. Other suggestions include:
- Peanut, almond or other nut butter on whole grain bread.
- To add vegetables, you could take leftovers and wrap in a whole-grain tortilla.
- Oatmeal could be jazzed up with some nutritious fruits and nuts.
- Smoothies can be made from fruits, even vegetables with some nut butter for protein.
Is The Longevity Diet Healthy?
This diet is healthy because it is full of the nutrition a person needs. Instead of filling up on empty calories, people consume food rich in vitamins and minerals. By using plant-based dishes as the main meal people are taking in less calories and more nutrients.
What Is Fast Mimicking?
The Longevity Diet Protocol also includes a Fast Mimicking Diet. This is a periodic 5-day calorie restricted diet. It is 100% vegan where a person consumes 1,100 calories on day 1 and about 800 calories for days 2-5.
It allows the body to enter autophagy where old, damaged cells are broken down for new cells to form. It is easier and thought to be safer than water only fast because the body is still getting nutrients.
How Long Do You Have To Fast For Autophagy?
Autophagy requires a low liver glycogen, which can happen after 14-16 hours of fasting. However, the autophagy process is more likely to begin within 18-20 hours of a fast with maximum benefits happening between 48 and 72 hours.
Does The 16:8 Diet Really Work?
This diet is also known as an 8-hour diet where food is consumed during an 8 hour period of the day and the person fasts for the rest of the time. Most people tend to stay on the same eating schedule. It can help prevent blood sugar peaks and dips while avoiding excessive hunger.
It can help weight control and even extend a person’s life span. It’s also best to make sure the last meal is at least 2-3 hours before bed.
The Blue Zone Diet
Blue Zones are areas in the world where people are thought to live long, healthy lives. Being that the Blue Zones are in different regions, food choices may vary, but they are primarily plant-based and whole foods.
What Foods Are Not Allowed On The Blue Zone Diet?
The Mediterranean Diet is one of the most popular diets and can help prevent diseases so people live longer. On these diets, people should avoid:
- Refined grains
- Refined oils
- Pastries and other baked goods
- Processed foods
- Most meats
- Most dairy
- Limit eggs
What Foods Can you Eat On The Blue Zone Diet
It’s easy to focus on what you can’t eat, but it’s better to focus on healthy foods to eat every day. Most Blue Zone Diets eat 95% plant-based. Any meat is used as a side dish, not a main course. Make sure to include:
- Whole grains, like wheat flour and sourdough
- Healthy fats like nuts and seeds
- Beans and legumes
- Olive oil
- Tea (green tea is a popular choice)
- Red wine (in moderation)
The Ketogenic Diet
The Ketogenic Diet or Keto for short, has gained popularity in recent years. The Ketogenic Diet plan is high-fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate. Carbs are replaced with fat. This reduction puts the body in a metabolic state known as ketosis. Ketosis happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, your body will begin to burn fat, creating things called ketones, which are used for fuel. As you can imagine, this process is very beneficial for those looking to lose weight.
During ketosis, the body becomes really efficient at burning fat for energy. Keto Diets also activate autophagy and get rid of old, damaged cells. Plus it can also reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. So it is good for losing weight and lowering risk factors for diseases.
What Do You Eat The First Week Of Keto?
Changing eating habits can take some time. On the Keto Diet, it’s important to include plenty of meat, certain vegetables, nuts cheese and other dairy products. For the first week it’s important more to adapt to what you can eat and get used to not eating foods that may have been a big part of your past meals like bread, pasta and sugar.
Make sure to include plenty of:
- Non-starchy vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli
- Green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach
- Blackberries and raspberries
- Fatty fish
- Heavy cream
Recipes should include any of the foods listed above. The Keto Diet is different from other diets because it is okay to eat fats and proteins due to the thought process that ketosis will burn fat for energy instead of glucose. That’s why a breakfast of eggs and bacon is okay on the Keto Diet.
How Long Is It Safe To Stay In Ketosis?
There aren’t any definitive studies about the safety of ketosis over the long haul. Most people find it difficult to stay in ketosis consistently anyways. So a lot of people end up dipping in and out of it.
Taking even a small step away from the Keto Diet can push a person out of ketosis so indulging in some pasta will stop ketosis.
It’s important for people to give their body time to adapt. The first two to six weeks are usually considered the ketogenic adaptation phase. This is because our bodies are typically used to relying on glucose or carbohydrates for energy and the Keto Diet pushes the body to use fat for energy.
The diets listed above provide the body with nutrition while supporting the body’s own process of cell renewal known as autophagy. Supplements, like spermidine, work to make that process even more efficient.
Spermidine is a polyamine that assists our bodies with cellular growth. Over time our blood polyamine levels decrease along with cellular growth and renewal. When this happens, we experience many symptoms attributed to aging.
We can replenish these levels through foods we eat, but oftentimes our diet doesn’t replenish it fast enough especially as we age. Following one of the anti-aging diets is a good start, but supplementing can also help.
Supplementing with spermidine can assist the autophagy process leading to a resurgence in cell recycling and renewal.
- Our guide to the Mediterranean Diet, Medical News Today
- Daily Longevity Diet for Adults, Valter Longo
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