The main reason we should follow a healthy diet is to live a long and healthy life. Nowadays, unfortunately, reaching old age healthy and without being sick seems almost a utopia. However, eating a balanced diet and following a healthy lifestyle can help us live a long and disease-free life. Science also confirms this through the fields of preventive medicine, geriatrics, and biogerontology. Although having the right genes helps, it is certainly not enough. Eating according to the Longevity Diet and periodically following the Fast-Mimicking Diet can improve our health and prolong life. This is a true “Longevity Revolution”, created by Professor Valter Longo.
Thanks to nutrition, we can reach 100 years of age strong and healthy. In fact, nutrition is one of the main and easiest modifiable factors that is under our control. The Mediterranean Diet is one of the best in the world, and we have great examples of this: Salvatore Caruso, the accountant from Molochio, near Reggio Calabria, who lived to 110 years, and Emma Morano, the grandmother from Verbania on Lake Maggiore, who lived 117 years and was the last person born before the 1900.
WHO ARE THE LONGEVITY EXPERTS?
Since we all eat, many think they have become nutritional experts and give advice right and left, without being informed on the subject, let alone be professional nutritionists or doctors. In fact, it is not actually known what it means to eat “the right amount.” That is, most people are often unaware not only of the nutritional requirements related to age, sex, and physical activity, but about the caloric and glycemic content of certain foods, some which are even unclear or unknown. For this reason, people’s diets have become unbalanced.
The experts you should listen to in regard to nutrition are doctors and researchers specializing in nutrition (interns, biochemists, nutritionists, etc.) who hold high positions in universities and institutions, experts in various fields of experimentation and study (especially referring to the 5 Pillars of Longevity), and who regularly participate in scientific research and trials in the nutrition field. These doctors, nutritionists and/or the dieticians can lead you in the right direction. Furthermore, they can tell us which experts to refer to and how to practice an ad hoc diet, while taking into account pathological conditions or food intolerances.
WHAT ARE THE 5 PILLARS OF LONGEVITY
In order to extract the right information about nutrition, Valter Longo proposes the following strategy: 5 Pillars of Healthy Longevity. Let’s see them in detail one by one.
BASIC RESEARCH AND JUVEONTOLOGY/BIOGERONTOLOGY
Studies on simple organisms can help to understand the relationship between cells and nutrients, as well as how certain diets can affect health and determine longevity.
This field studies the cause of disease in populations. It can help bring to light the hypotheses of basic research in a concrete way. For example, about how diet impacts metabolism.
In order to show how a specific diet affects health, Randomized Control Trials with a placebo control are necessary and can further highlight the effectiveness of the hypotheses formulated by basic research and epidemiology.
STUDIES ABOUT CENTENARIANS
The studies that have been conducted with centenarians allow for concrete data regarding the effectiveness of eating habits that were sustained over a lifetime.
THE STUDY OF COMPLEX SYSTEMS
This consist of the analysis of complex systems, such as cars, to understand the complexity of human organisms, but simplified with an engineering approach and more intuitive mechanical models.
The recommendations for a diet that guarantees a long and healthy life are based on solid and concrete scientific and clinical research. Positive results have emerged from basic, clinical, genetic, and epidemiological research studies that have included thousands of participants. Furthermore, most nutrition recommendations correspond to nutritional habits of populations that are known for health and longevity, where their diet is a key factor.
Valter Longo, “The Longevity Diet”. London: Penguin Random House UK, 2018.