There is an incredible amount of fascinating emerging research on longevity and the lifestyle modifications that are most effective at optimizing it and supporting our bodies as we age.
Optimizing nutrition is the most controllable step towards improving longevity, and we must start now.
The Mediterranean way of eating consistently comes up trumps with nutritionists and in science. It could help you age better by improving gut bacteria, lowering inflammation, and boosting brain function.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
- The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that's based on the traditional cuisines of Spain, Greece, Italy and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.
- Plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices are the foundation of the diet.
- Olive oil is the main source of added fat.
- Fish, seafood, dairy and poultry are included in moderation.
- Red meat and sweets are eaten only occasionally.
- Wine is often associated with the Mediterranean diet. It can be included but only in moderation. While alcohol may reduce the risk of heart disease, it has other health risks.
This style of eating has been widely supported by nutritionists and medical experts for its evidence-backed benefits, including to helping reduce the risk of diabetes, and protecting against certain types of cancers as well as cognitive decline.
It also has many similarities to the diets in so-called Blue Zones, areas of the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives.
Those who are following the Mediterranean diet even imperfectly, have better measures of blood pressure and glycemic control, suggesting there are benefits to even moderate changes in eating habits.
The Mediterranean diet was previously named the overall best diet for 2020 by US News and World Report, for the third year in a row, in part because it was deemed more sustainable than "crash" diets like the Whole30 that eliminate food groups.
The Mediterranean diet is best for overall benefits and sustainability, but Intermittent fasting is the best diet for weight loss.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a powerful practice that involves eating normal portions of food with periodic episodes without meals. There are dozens of fasting programs. One approach is to skip breakfast and have a late lunch, and another is to eat 75% fewer calories two days each week.
Whatever you choose, nearly any practice of intermittent fasting that still allows you to get sufficient nutrition will help you live a healthier and longer life. It can not only increase your energy levels and mental clarity, but also forestall cancer, cardiac disease, diabetes, and stroke.
In addition to fasting, decreasing or eliminating sugar from your diet can have immediate positive effects.