What you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat all play a role in maximizing your health for longer life.  A comprehensive study published in the journal Cell examines what it takes for healthy aging from the inside out, starting at the cellular level.

What you eat is key to protecting your body and slowing down aging.  Eat nutrient-dense foods that provide a balance of healthy fats (30% of calories), complex carbohydrates ( around 55% of calories), and protein (low, but sufficient, around 15% of calories).   Let your diet be mostly whole, plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and seeds.   If you add fish to your diet it significantly decreases your risk of fractures and frailty.  Limit or avoid animal fats and protein, sugar, and refined carbohydrates.

Pay attention to how much you eat.  Overeating leads to obesity, fat storage, insulin resistance and illnesses that shorten your life.  On the other hand, if you consume fewer calories it slows down the aging process and leads to better health.  Don’t eat until you’re full.  Instead slow down and stop eating when you’re no longer hungry.  Your eating should be in line with your level of activity and metabolism.

It matters when you eat and, just as importantly, when you don’t eat.  If you practice intermittent fasting and give your body a 12 hour window without food, it allows your cells to do a lot of cleanup activities and improves your cardiometabolic health.

Eating for longevity doesn’t have to be complex nor does it have to be restrictive or limiting.  On the contrary, it’s about embracing a lifestyle that will optimize your health instead of diminishing it.


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