Stay Healthy with the Longevity Diet
Posted on July 23, 2015
People usually go on diets for a quick fix to lose weight.
But having a longevity diet is a crucial part of living a long and healthy life. But with
so many diets out there, which should you choose?
If you are looking for a diet which will help lower your
risk of heart disease, you should consider the Mediterranean diet.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
According to Time
Magazine, a 2009 study indicated that, “people who followed a modern
Mediterranean diet (high in fat) had a 30% lower risk of heart attack than
people on a low-fat diet.” The study was even terminated early for the less
beneficial group because results were so strong.
The people living in the Mediterranean seem to have gotten
it right – they have one of the longest average life expectancies in the world,
almost 90 years! And it is all thanks to their longevity diet.
What exactly were people in the study eating?
The Mediterranean diet consists of fruits and vegetables, fish, and extra
virgin olive oil. Let’s look at the principles behind these food choices so
that you can increase your overall health.
Fruits and Vegetables
A longevity diet with high amounts of fruits and vegetables has many
health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat, sodium, and
calories. They have no cholesterol, and have many essential nutrients that your
body needs. Eating vegetable and fruits can:
- Lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart
attacks and strokes.
- Protect you against certain types of cancer.
- Reduce risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Lower your blood pressure.
- Reduce risk of kidney stones.
- Decrease bone loss.
Low Amounts of Protein
People in the Mediterranean eat much less protein than the
average American. Instead of animal-based protein, they cook with plant-based
protein such as nuts, whole grains, and legumes. A diet relatively low in
protein is best – according to Time
Magazine, studies by Valter Longo, director of the University of Southern
California’s Longevity Institute, indicate that high protein diets accelerate
Fish is a main source of protein in this longevity diet
as well. It not only is a healthy protein choice but is rich in omega-3 fatty
acids. These fatty acids can help:
- Fight depression.
- Boost effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Curb pain from rheumatoid arthritis.
- Lower risk of heart disease.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats around
and the main source of fat in a Mediterranean diet. Replacing butter and other
unhealthy fats with olive oil has been shown to prevent diseases and fight
against aging with its anti-inflammatory properties. Extra virgin olive oil can:
- Enhance your antioxidant defense system.
- Decrease your risk of heart disease.
- Reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Lower your risk of cancer.
- Protect your digestive track.
- Increase your bone health.
- Improve your cognitive function.
Lower Calorie Count
Interested in extending your lifespan? Try a longevity diet that cuts calories.
Scientists have found in animal studies that reducing calorie intake promotes
the growth of “good” bacteria in the digestive tract. In humans, studies have
found that reducing the amount of calories you consume can in turn reduce
What’s the best ways to reduce the calories you eat? Some
scientists believe in intermittent fasting for short periods, while others say
stick with a lower amount of calories every day.
One thing that all scientist and doctors will agree on is
lowering your sugar intake. This is especially true of fructose sugar. Sugar
contributes to everything this longevity diet fights against, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Chronic disease
- Kidney stones and gout
- Bacteria overgrowth
- Impaired cognitive function
- Heart disease
Eat Well, Live Longer
Many different diets have come and gone, but many of them
share the qualities of this longevity diet. To sum it up: stay healthy with
a diet low in sugar, high in vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, plant-based
proteins, and fish. It seems the secret
to a long and healthy life is something we have known all along: eating well
and taking care of our bodies.
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