Eating, Fasting, and Exercising for Maximum Longevity
Dr. Valter Longo is arguably the world’s top longevity expert.
He has spent over 25 years conducting research on aging, nutrition, and disease all around the world. Dr. Longo is the Director of the Longevity Institute at USC in Los Angeles and the Director of the Longevity and Cancer Program at the IFOM Institute of Molecular Oncology in Milan, Italy.
Last year he summarized his research in the international bestseller The Longevity Diet, which explores the science behind stem cell activation and regeneration to slow aging and optimize health.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Longo about what we can all do to maximize healthy longevity.
Dr. Longo says it is possible to live to a healthy 100 (and beyond) and he recommends a three-pronged approach to achieve that objective. Dr. Longo’s protocol includes a daily longevity diet, a periodic five-day “Fasting Mimicking Diet,” and exercise. He says these are the three most important components for healthy longevity. Let’s break them down.
Daily Longevity Diet
The Daily Longevity Diet includes both what and how to eat on an everyday basis.
“The daily longevity diet is essentially a vegan plus fish diet,” Dr. Longo told me. He says that while it is possible to be vegan and healthy, many purely vegan diets end up in some type of malnourishment. Therefore small amounts of fish (no more than 2–3 times per week) are included for the Omega-3, vitamin B12, and protein content — all of which are hard to get in sufficient quantities in a 100% vegan diet.
The daily longevity diet is nutrient-rich, centering around vegetables and legumes (beans, chickpeas, etc.), plus nuts, olive oil, and whole grains. Protein intake is low but sufficient — about .35 grams of protein per pound of body weight (which comes to about 45 grams of protein per day if you weigh 130 pounds, 70 grams of protein per day if you weigh 200 pounds). Protein comes primarily from legumes and small amounts of fish, since other animal products (meat, poultry, eggs, cheese) are discouraged. Not surprisingly, sugar should also be…