A strange diet is designed to slow aging by mimicking fasting — but you can eat normally most of the time

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Evidence suggests that fasting could help cure disease and prevent aging, though a number of fasting interventions sound difficult and unpleasant.
One researcher has developed the fasting-mimicking diet, which he says could provide the benefits of fasting but only requires eating a specific way for five days at a time once every few months.
Still, eating healthily and exercising are important for people who want to reduce disease risk and prevent aging.

Most of us don’t just want to live longer. We want stay healthier at the same time — an extra 20-30 years lying in a sickbed sounds terrible.

Valter Longo, the director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, believes that by eating in a specific way, people might be able to live past 100 without developing debilitating diseases.

There’s solid evidence that suggests periodic fasting could prolong lifespan and prevent disease. Longo has designed a diet that he says provides the benefits of fasting while still letting people eat normally most of the time.

Longo explains his fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) in his new book, “The Longevity Diet.” It’s designed to provide the benefits of fasting while only having people cut back on food for five days at a time. These fasts can be done as often as once a month or as infrequently as once every six months. Most people could theoretically reap the benefits by doing the fast three or four times a year.

Studies — including at least one clinical trial with 100 participants — have found that this diet can significantly alter signs of disease, reduce weight and body fat, lower blood pressure, decrease levels of biomarkers associated with cancer, and improve blood-sugar levels.

The fasting-mimicking diet

People on the FMD eat normally for 25 days, but the five-day fast portion is no joke.

On those days, participants eat a specific blend of nutrients that amount to 1,100 calories on the first day and 800 calories per day on days two through five.

Nutritionally, most of these calories come from complex carbohydrates (like vegetables), healthy fats (olive oil), and plant-based protein (from nuts).

Although it’s still far too early to say whether doing the FMD every so often will actually prolong life in the long term, the basic idea is appealing. Fasting is known to trigger physical changes that seem to be associated with longer life and disease prevention. Early clinical trials indicate that restricting calorie intake seems to trigger similarly promising physical changes in people, which is why it’s sometimes discussed as a potential anti-aging intervention.

But as Longo explains in the book, calorie restriction usually involves reducing caloric intake by 20-30%, which sounds kind of miserable in the long term. And animal and human studies suggest that many of the physical changes associated with fasting start during a shorter fast.

Longo used that data, along with other anti-aging studies, examinations of how centenarians eat and live, and the clinical trials conducted so far, to design the FMD to provide “the benefits of fasting without …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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