In the following article, we tell you everything you ever needed or wanted to know about the Longevity Diet.
So, What Can You Eat on the Longevity Diet?
The Longevity Diet promotes eating less protein and more plants. The foods you should eat when you are practicing the Longevity Diet include the following:
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and chard
- Vegetables which are rich in fiber
- All kinds of fresh fruits
- Olive oil
- Legumes and beans such as lentils and chickpeas
- Seafood that is low in mercury such as salmon, tilapia, and shrimp
Let us delve into a further examination of the Longevity Diet and also those foods you are not allowed to eat too.
What Is the Longevity Diet? Who Came up with It?
The Longevity Diet is a series of guidelines for eating healthily which were formulated by Valter Longo, Ph.D..
DR Longo is a biochemist and the director of the USC Longevity Institute, which is part of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.
The guidelines he developed were formulated with the intention of enabling people to live healthier and longer lives.
The Longevity Diet suggests that people follow a diet that is based on plants and which includes little (if any) poultry and meat.
Another tenet of the Longevity Diet involves fasting periodically.
Despite the fact that this diet was first designed particularly for adults who are more advanced in age, it carries a number of potential health benefits for those of all ages and stages of life.
What Is the Logic Behind the Longevity Diet?
Dr. Valter Longo conducted research on the longer lived populations across the globe, including those in Italy, Greece, Japan, and the United States.
One particular study, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine in October of 2016, discovered that “high animal protein intake was positively associated with cardiovascular mortality and high plant protein intake was inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, especially among individuals with at least 1 lifestyle risk factor.
Substitution of plant protein for animal protein, especially that from processed red meat, was associated with lower mortality, suggesting the importance of protein source.”
The research that Dr. Valter Longo conducted also demonstrated the benefits to one’s health that fasting mimicking diets can have.
Fasting mimicking diets are somewhat similar to the practice of intermittent fasting
(in this article I answer a common question o get asked; can we eat chia seeds in fast).
These fasting mimicking diets were shown in his research to improve metrics which exert significant impact on the health of a person (especially as one undergoes the process of aging), such as blood pressure, body mass index, and the glucose levels in one’s blood.
How Exactly Does the Longevity Diet Work?
The Longevity Diet looks like a modified version of a vegan diet, one in which some seafood and tiny amounts of dairy and meat are permitted.
The Longevity Diet is as much a lifestyle as it is an eating program, and it can be adhered to for as long as you desire.
The series of guidelines suggests following a diet that involves five days of fasting and mimicking from time to time throughout a year.
Foods groups that are in compliance with the Longevity Diet include the following:
- Olive oil
- Beans and legumes
- Seafood that is low in mercury
Foods that are NOT in compliance with the Longevity Diet include the following:
- Meat (when eaten in excessive amounts)
- Processed sugar
- Dairy (when eaten in excessive amounts)
- Saturated fats
Meat, dairy, and poultry are to be avoided due to the fact that they are generally high in saturated fats.
If it is not possible to avoid these entirely, the diet suggests that you limit these by using only small quantities for the purposes of adding some flavor to dishes which are based on plants.
This is opposed to having them as the centerpiece of your meals.
When it comes to dairy, if it is too difficult for you to give up cheese and milk, the Longevity Diet suggests that you switch from products and cheeses derived from the milk of cows to that of goats, which possesses anti-inflammatory properties and which is high in minerals.
How Does the Timing of the Diet Work?
When it comes to planning for meals, it is recommended that those who may be overweight or who tend to gain weight more easily should eat 2 meals as well as 2 snacks each day which are low in sugar.
One of the meals should be breakfast, and the other should be either lunch or dinner.
People who are able to maintain a healthy weight or those who tend to lose weight more easily are encouraged to have three meals per day as well as one snack that is low in sugar.
All snacks and meals ought to be eaten within a time frame of ten to twelve hours.
For instance, you can eat between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The diet also recommends refraining from eating in the 3 to 4 hours before you go to bed.
People who are on the Longevity Diet also stick to an eating program which mimics fasting numerous times in the year.
This refers to the consumption of restricted portions of foods, primarily vegetables, seeds, and nuts, for a period of five days.
The total caloric intake per day falls between 800 and 1100; 60 percent of the calories are derived from fat, 30 percent from carbohydrates, and 10 percent from protein.
The Longevity Diet Summary
The three pillars of the Longevity Diet are the following:
- Eating mainly plant based foods
- Eating less protein from meat, dairy, and poultry
- Mimicking fasting at times throughout the year
The main purpose of these food choices is to secure the numerous health benefits that come with taking in all the vitamins, nutrients, and beneficial plant compounds found in foods based on plants and to eliminate the negative effects of saturated fats and animal based proteins
( In this article I cover the health benefits of pickled onions, and are pickled onions good for you?).
The main purpose of the fasting recommendations is to take advantage of the health benefits thereof as well, which include improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and body mass index.
Ultimately, the major benefit the Longevity Diet seeks to confer on its adherents is, as you might expect, a longer and healthier life.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.