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The 5 Best Eating Habits to Live Longer, New Study Reveals

These eating habits will help you live a longer, healthier life.

As we age, we do our best to stay in the best shape possible, both physically and mentally, in order to live a healthy and elongated life. While we can't always control everything life throws at us, we can control how and what we eat, which is a major part of longevity, according to new findings.

In a recent review posted in Cell, new studies have determined the longevity diet would be a great preventative measure to help avoid morbidity and sustain health into advanced age. With that being said, the longevity diet follows five eating habits that help aid in maintaining a long life. To find out what those eating habits are, keep reading. Then, for more on longevity, take a look at Longevity Secrets Of The Oldest People In The World.

Consume a high amount of unrefined carbs.

Whole grain bread

In a meta-analysis of multiple groups totaling 432,179 participants, both a low carbohydrate consumption of less than 40% of energy and high carbohydrate consumption of more than 70% of energy increased mortality risk compared to moderate carbohydrate intake.

However, the normocaloric longevity diet, which keeps your body weight constant by the energy introduced to your body equaling the energy expended, is associated with a mid to high carbohydrate intake with low or very low side effects and extended lifespan and healthspan.

Unrefined sources are foods that have been minimally processed from their natural state. You can get these foods from whole grains such as wheat bread, brown rice, and quinoa.

Eat most protein from plant-based sources.

holding a vegan tofu sushi bowl

The review states that mortality risk was about 18% higher when animal-derived proteins or fats replaced carbohydrates. However, the risk was about 18% lower when plant-based proteins or fats replaced carbohydrates.

The longevity diet also mentions a healthy intake of low but sufficient protein that is mostly plant-based. However, regular consumption of pesco-vegetarian-derived proteins– vegetarian foods that include seafood– also has low or very low side effects and extends the lifespan and healthspan.

As mentioned in the review, several studies show that pesco-vegetarians display a reduced risk for overall mortality compared to meat-eaters. Also, a vegan diet is also associated with a reduced risk of cancer, hypertension, and diabetes compared to that of regular meat-eaters.

Eat enough plant-based fats to provide about 30% of energy needs.

Multiple Types of Beans in Bowls

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the dietary reference intake (DRI) for fat in adults is 20% to 35% of total calories from fat. The longevity diet is said to have a fat consumption making up about 30% of energy mostly from plant-based and pro-longevity sources. Great sources of plant-based energy include beans, nuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds made for great sources of plant-based energy consumption.

The Cell review also states that a recent study based on meta-analyses and data from the 2019 Global Burden of Disease study provides evidence in support of the longevity diet.

The evidence showed a change from the typical Western diet—a modern-day style diet that mostly contains high amounts of processed foods, red meat, high-fat dairy products, high-sugar foods, and pre-packaged foods—to a diet rich in legumes, whole grains, and nuts with reduced red and processed meats is associated with an increase in life expectancy. The life expectancy ranged from 10.7 years in females to 13 years in males if started at age 20, and over 8 years of increased life expectancy when started at age 60.

Eat within an 11 to 12-hour window.

Snack Time, Snack Clock

According to the review, studies involving subjects with obesity, metabolic syndrome, or type 2 diabetes would typically benefit from an 8-10 hour daily eating. It would help to aid weight loss or correct existing metabolic impairment.

However, longer daily fasting periods that involve skipping breakfast have been consistently associated with increased mortality, which is particularly high for cardiovascular disease. This is why it's recommended to have an eating period with an ideal window of 11 to 12 hours in order to avoid more compliance issues and side effects.

Start fasting

intermittent fasting

There are several ways that fasting has taken a hand in longevity. Researchers mentioned in the review say the longevity diet should be designed to avoid malnourishment, particularly in those over 65 years old, in order to prevent frailty and diseases that may result from reduced bone or muscle mass or low blood cell counts. Ideally, the longevity diet would include a 12 to 13-hour daily fasting period, which has been shown to be safe, feasible, and effective in many studies.

The review also mentioned a Fasting Mimicking (FMD) diet. A cycle applied for 5 days once a month to mice on a high-fat/calorie diet lowered body fat, improved cardiac function, lowered cholesterol, and restored lifespan to the levels observed in mice on a standard diet.

Additional health benefits of FMD cycles lasting 4 days included extended longevity, reduced tumor incidence, and delayed cognitive decline, even when started at middle age.

An FMD every 3 to 4 months may also help reduce risk factors for individuals with increased disease risks, therefore helping the chances of longevity. According to the review, a number of studies have investigated the role of FMD in cancer treatment.

One study, in particular, involved a 36-patient feasibility study in which FMD combined with hormone therapy to treat breast cancer was found to be safe and reduce markers and risk factors associated with cancer progression without reducing muscle function or mass.

Kayla Garritano
Kayla Garritano graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and double minored in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more about Kayla