When And What To Eat For Slow Aging?
Nutrition • January 20, 2022 • 7min read
Keeping the science of fasting and diet in mind, let us discuss what happens inside your body depending on when and what you eat to slow down aging. We will understand how eating less, practicing Intermittent fasting, Mediterranean, and Okinawan diets can help you boost longevity genes. And you will know how the people in the blue zones live 100 and beyond due to their diet.
We will demonstrate how glucose and a caloric-restricted diet can help you lose weight, what foods to avoid, and how eating can affect your healthy lifespan. You will learn how changing your diet and eating habits can slow down and even reverse your aging.
As a bonus, at the end of this article, you will find the important 5 takeaways to boost your longevity
The 3-Word Formula For Longevity
Science-based fasting and a healthy lifestyle promise to maximize your longevity, and add decades to your lifespan. If you follow Sinclair’s studies and lifestyle, you may know him taking one meal a day- known as intermittent fasting.
Practicing intermittent fasting does not necessarily suggest weight loss, but maintaining low energy levels, which triggers the activation of longevity gene pathways. As David Sinclair mentioned in his latest podcast, the period of not eating is much more important than the period of eating. We will explain this in this article.
Dr. Sinclair suggests the 3-word formula for boosting your longevity- eat less often. This is not talking about malnutrition but packing the calories in one meal over a short period.
The aim of the one meal a day concept is not necessarily ingesting fewer calories for maintaining lean body mass (which is a good side effect), but for putting your body into a state of defense (not depending on your weight).
Though, it is worth mentioning that many more years will add up to your lifespan if you lose weight. People with low body weight are scientifically proven to live longer. Studies demonstrate that caloric restriction leads to having a longer lifespan (up to 50% in rodents), along with preventing many age-related diseases.
Stay A Little Hungry
Numerous studies emphasize 16 hours of fasting to be beneficial against many disorders such as blood pressure, improved BMI (body mass index), and even DNA repair.
Sinclair notes that fasting is beneficial for people who have excess body weight. This is not only because they shed weight but also turn on their body’s preventive responses against diseases, increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing glucose levels.
This is also true for lean people, who may increase defenses against type 1 diabetes, even cancer, and multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies point to prostate cancer and MS benefit from fasting practiced with chemotherapy.
One of the fasting patterns Sinclair shares during his last podcast is time-restricted fasting also called intermittent fasting. This pattern of fasting artificially down activates mTOR, which is proven to prevent and even beat cancer.
The method Sinclair suggests is being hungry for 16 hours a day skipping breakfast but eating nutritious lunch or dinner. David himself skips dinner believing that skipping lunch does not have much benefit, as being hungry while you sleep is not that helpful.
At the starting point of intermittent fasting, you may feel acute hunger, because your liver starts a process called gluconeogenesis. This is your liver’s natural and stable production of glucose, which ceases the never-ending feeling of hunger and eating. If you practice this for at least two weeks, while fasting for 12–16 hours, as Sinclair suggests, your body will get used to it.
David Sinclair’s advice is to skip breakfast during the first period, and only after that combine it with lunch. By doing this you will easily enter the state of intermittent fasting. Another self-experimented method Sinclair advises is by filling your body with liquids and nuts (they are rich in proteins), which shut the feeling of hunger.
It is also important to control what is on your plate when you are practicing certain types of fasting. While you practice intermittent fasting you may consider adequate nutrition, where you leave out excess sugar and protein intake.
Another one we are going to talk about is the plant-based diet. A study conducted in 2013 demonstrates low mortality among people following a vegetarian diet (20% reduction of possible death) and high mortality among non-vegetarians.
The results showed a 10% reduction in mortality among semi-vegetarians and Lacto-ovo vegetarians, a 15% reduction in mortality among vegans, and a 19% reduction in mortality among Pesco vegetarians.
The Mediterranean diet combined with a short amount of exercise was studied with a group of women. The list of food eaten during this diet includes olive oil for fat, limited alcohol, a small amount of red wine as a source of Resveratrol, and plant-based food.
This research established, that this type of diet and exercise helps to prevent age-related diseases, slow down aging, and even reverse it.
Another diet that Sinclair used to practice is the Okinawan diet. This is mostly a carbohydrate diet, based on eating rice, soy, and fish. People living in Okinawa, Japan practice this type of diet and live 100 and more years.
But people living in these blue zones are also surrounded by a lifestyle complementing diet patterns. They exercise regularly, their social structure is well-designed which leads to longevity specifically in that certain zones.
Caloric And Glucose Restriction To End The Epidemic Of Aging
Caloric restriction is a scientifically proven method to slow down aging, hinder age-related diseases (such as T2D, and high blood pressure) and improve insulin resistance. One of the biggest studies of Dr. Sincalir is that of yeast cells. The results of the research present a huge body of evidence that restricted calorie intake enhances the lifespan of yeast up to 30 divisions.
The human body’s responses are not different from that of the yeast. When your body is on a low glucose diet, levels of NAD+ in your cells increase. NAD+ serves as fuel for Sirtuins, which are guardians of your epigenome and regulate DNA repair.
Two longevity genes that are critical for mitochondrial functions are mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase). mTOR is a kinase (enzyme) that is regulating protein synthesis and cell growth. AMPK is responsible for energy homeostasis.
The gene complex mTOR is responsible for your body’s “construction”. When you eat a protein-rich food mTOR is activated to build muscle from those proteins. Downregulating the mTOR activity by caloric restriction is demonstrated to induce telomere length stability, hence, longevity.
Mitochondria are crucial cell organelles generating energy and are responsible to keep you alive. AMPK is the generator of mitochondria and can be activated through fasting. When you are hungry or in a fasting state the AMPK gene gets activated to make more mitochondria.
We can conclude that eating less often, caloric and glucose restriction, long-term fasting, and weight loss will contribute to longevity gene activation. But it is also very important to measure your body, as different people with different genetics react diversly to caloric restriction.
As a takeaway, you can grab these 5 tips from David Sinclair:
- Eat less often: One meal a day and do not snack,
- Avoid sugary drinks and foods. Try to substitute it with artificial sweeteners.
- Reduce meat intake. The reduction of red and processed meat is beneficial for your healthspan and can even prevent cancer.
- Fasting. Chose the right diet for your body. Fasting is proven to reduce the ratio of mortality by 31%.
- Eat stressed vegetables. The vegetables that were damaged naturally, are brightly colored, or were eaten by insects, are rich in Xenohormetics.
Following certain diet patterns, eating NMN-rich foods, and practicing fasting will reduce the chances of age-related diseases. One time a meal will help you not only lose weight but also slow down aging and enhance your longevity.
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