Scientists publish findings on what constitutes a 'longevity' diet – – McKnight's Long Term Care News

With the aid of a century’s-worth of studies, researchers from the University of Southern California and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have published an overview of an optimal longevity diet. Adjustments should be made for older adults, they say. 
The analysis included wide-ranging studies on nutrients, fasting, popular diets, and genetics and disease risk. Investigators also looked at clinical and epidemiological studies in primates and in humans, including humans aged 100 years and older. 
Based on their findings, the optimal longevity diet would include moderate to high intake from non-refined carbohydrates, “low but sufficient” protein from largely plant-based sources, and “enough plant-based fats to provide about 30% of energy needs,” they wrote in the journal Cell.
What would this look like in real-life? An individual following a longevity diet would consume legumes, whole grains and vegetables; some fish; no red meat or processed meat and very low white meat; low sugar and refined grains; good levels of nuts and olive oil and some dark chocolate, wrote co-authors Valter Longo, Ph.D, and Rozalyn Anderson, Ph.D.
All daily meals would ideally occur within an 11- to 12-hour window, which allows for daily fasting, Longo and Anderson said. For people with an increased risk of disease, a more substantial fast every three to four months may help to reduce insulin resistance, blood pressure and other risk factors, they noted.
The longevity diet should also be adapted to individuals based on their sex, age, health status and genetics, Longo said. Adults aged 65 and older may need to increase protein to help counter frailty risk and loss of lean body mass. Higher protein amounts are better for people over 65 but not optimal for younger adults, he added.
Full findings were published in the journal Cell.
Related stories:
Inadequate protein in diet increasing frailty risk for many, study finds
Diets high in red meat tied to later frailty; other protein sources may help reduce risk

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