How To Scientifically Live Longer Through Evidence-Based Nutrition

Jun 17, 2022


Science is fascinating, but something even more interesting is when science intersects evidence-laden nutrition and practical health advice. In a very recent review from the highly prestigious journal Cell , the study of nutrition, longevity, and disease was put to the test. A few authors in this analysis are longevity powerhouses Dr. Valter Longo, Ph.D. and Rozalyn Anderson, Ph.D..

This in-depth publication uncovers how dietary patterns and akin choices affect longevity. From vast cellular pathways and preclinical models (like yeast, worms, and rodents) to randomized controlled trials in humans and population research. The science is evident when demonstrating how healthy nutrition is the ultimate factor in increasing your biological years of life. It enables us to rein in cellular pathways of regeneration for healthy aging. How incredible? Below, you will find central takeaways from this profoundly intense study, leaving you armed with nutrition evidence you can carry throughout your daily life.

5 Ways To Embrace Longevity Nutrition:

1. Focus On Cellular Nutrition:
Cellular pathways are how we can leverage nutrition from the inside out. Based on concerted research, it seems that there are a few key cellular processes that are pro-longevity. Some of these prominent features include effective energy metabolism in the mitochondria, autophagy, resilience to stress, periods of fasting, and the ability to use fat for fuel. In terms of energy metabolism, along with a good balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat), essential B vitamins and CoQ10 are required for cellular ATP energy production.

Intentionally consuming antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and omega-3s can safeguard against cellular stressors and help deter daily oxidative stress, which distinctly contributes to aging. Implementing healthy fats sourced from plants and fish is a great way to do this. Lastly, giving our digestive system and cells a reset by intermittent fasting (12-hour window) has also been found to be true in terms of longevity.

2. Consume A Variety Of Plants:
Whether fully plant-based or not, consuming more plants is something that every nutritional scientist can get behind. The cumulative research shows that the more plants (fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains) we consume, the better our health, regenerative nutrition, and longevity will be. Eating a diverse plant-rich diet will naturally provide endless micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), fiber, and phytonutrients. This way of eating should also entail quality protein with varying amino acid profiles, healthy fats, and mostly unrefined carbohydrates for blood glucose balance and overall metabolic health.

3. Stay Away From Animal Fats, Sugar, And Animal Protein:
Unfortunately, animal fats, refined sugars, and animal protein are exclusively tied to avenues that promote oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. It also reduces insulin sensitivity, triggers excess adiposity, and increases metabolic distress. If consumed regularly, this can lead to a series of complications that negatively affect your heart, brain, and many other areas of your body. The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed red and processed meat (i.e., ham, hot dogs, sausages, corned beef, and jerky) as a Group 1 carcinogen. This category is employed when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. All of which are shown through epidemiological studies showing the development of cancers in exposed humans.

4. Be Mindful Of Energy Intake:
While it’s always a goal to consume the right amount of calories for your specific needs, there are other things to take into consideration. If your intake is regularly higher than what your needs demand, this can result in your energy balance being off. Our current food system isn’t helping us either. With the addition of ultra-processed foods in the form of packaged foods, it’s become easy to consume higher volumes of calories. Portion sizes have increased while nutritional quality and density have decreased.

From research, we know that in rodents, primates, and even humans, conserving calories helps to accomplish two things. It helps maintain a healthy weight and results in positive changes in our body composition. And more notably, less excess fat mass (adipose tissue) and an increase in lean muscle tissue. However, on the other hand, surplus calories, fat storage, higher insulin resistance, and a shorter lifespan are heavily tied together. For instance, elevated insulin levels are linked to increased aging. Being prudent with calories from food is precisely associated with better cardiometabolic health (i.e., insulin sensitivity, liver and heart health). Even more, clinical studies indicate that being frugal with calories leads to biomarker advancements that are indicative of longevity. How cool is that? We have a lot more power over our health than we’re led to believe.

5. Give Your Body A Break:
In recent years fasting has gotten a bad reputation. However, when it comes to longevity studies, it’s abundantly clear that it’s bound by “a switch to metabolic patterns associated with fasting responses.” While fasting recommendations come in a variety of feeding windows, the evidence shows something very doable. I will preface this and say if you have a history of disordered eating, work closely with a medical professional if this is something you are interested in.

However, most people find that eating within 12 hours is very reasonable. Think of it as a dedicated window and a way to limit your random snacking. Restricting your food to this window has been demonstrated to promote healthy inflammatory and metabolic pathways (i.e., balancing blood glucose and cardiovascular biomarkers), reduce overall visceral fat, and helps to support sleep.

After sifting through the research literature on nutrition factors and cellular pathways that affect longevity, a few common denominators became very clear. The thesis is influenced by plants and embodies the power of fasting from food for a certain period each day. Below, you will find a few of these common denominators.

5 Longevity Pillars To Follow:

1. Carbohydrates:
Seeing how carbohydrates are our body’s preferred energy source, it isn’t surprising to see this as a dominant pillar. But what were the findings? Consuming mid to high (45-60%) amounts of carbohydrates that consist of mostly plants (i.e., vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains) and limiting refined carbohydrates, and sugars (i.e., white bread, white pasta, pastries, and desserts) was found to be beneficial.

2. Fat:
Whether you love it or hate it, fat is crucial for our health. But, consuming the health-promoting types is even more paramount. This study points out that around 25-35% of your calories a day should be coming from mostly, you guessed it, plant-based fat sources. Think nuts, seeds, olives, fish, and oils .

While this may come as a shock, protein isn’t as significant as we might think. Though it’s marketed everywhere, most of us worldwide are getting an excessive amount of protein daily. This study concludes that we should be consuming low to sufficient (10-15%) amounts of protein that’s mainly derived from plant-based sources but can also feature regular pesco-vegetarian options. This can include fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and vegetables.

4. Fasting:
Engaging in a daily fasting window can increase autophagy and cardiometabolic benefits. The easiest way to accomplish this is at night before you sleep. Aim to stop eating at 8 pm and wait to eat breakfast until 8 am the next day. Note that fasting can be a touchy subject. If you struggle with food or body image issues, please be wary of trying this.

5.Energy Balance:
Energy balance is the relationship between calories consumed through eating and drinking compared to calories burned through physical activity. The intention is to follow a “normocaloric” pattern of food intake.
Simply avoid consuming an excess of calories but also not too little either.

The Takeaway:
Due to a wealth of scientific research to date, we now know the “secret code” for unlocking longevity through nutrition. Diet as a whole, encompassing food composition, calorie intake, and the length and frequency of fasting cycles, affect the period in which health and functional capacity are maintained.

It all comes down to nourishing ourselves from the inside out with top-notch fuel for our cells. While this can seem like common sense, we now have the data to back it up. Stick to an abundance of plant-based, whole foods with moderate levels of omega-3 fish, limit refined sugars, and aim to only feed within 12 hours each day. The secret to living a long healthy life isn’t about how many supplements you buy. But, by taking advantage of the power of nutrition and tapping into the mind, body, and soul connection.

Related Stories:
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– エビデンスに基づく栄養素の摂取を通じて、科学的に長生きする方法






















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