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What Is The Best Longevity Diet?


What’s the best diet for longevity and for losing weight?

What’s the best diet to stay younger and live longer? 

There are countless diets. Which one should you choose? 

For example, some of the more popular diets are the ones that advise substantially reducing carbs, like the keto diet or Atkins diet. There are diets that shun fats, like the Ornish diet. And you have high-fat keto diets that advise you to eat predominantly fats. Then there are the odd diets that tell you to mainly eat raw fruits or drink only smoothies.

How do you see the forest for the trees with all of these diets, which oftentimes contradict each other? 

The problem with most diets

The problem is that most diets don’t look at the big picture, nor do they look at the long term effects. Rather, they mainly focus on short term results such as weight loss.

Most diets have noticeable short term results as compared to the unhealthy Standard American Diet, such as weight loss and improved metabolic biomarkers (like lower triglycerides), but are far from ideal and are even unhealthy in the long term, causing accelerated aging. 

The first diet to focus on slowing down aging

Therefore, we at NOVOS propose a diet that approaches nutrition from an entirely new angle: aging. 

We maintain that the best diet is one that slows down the biological mechanisms that lead to aging, with the aim of keeping you younger and healthier for longer.

Such a diet automatically leads to weight loss, given that slowing down aging is the most healthy biological approach to take, not only improving metabolism but also addressing the root causes of all aging-related diseases.

Furthermore, approaching a diet from the viewpoint of aging enables us to better assess the long term effects of specific foods, macronutrients and micronutrients, rather than putting too much faith in short term outcomes.

Free NOVOS Longevity Diet

Download the scientifically-designed NOVOS Longevity Diet poster and start optimizing your diet for longevity.

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Long term effects of certain “healthy” foods and diets

Let’s look at some examples of how insights into aging can help us to better see if certain “healthy” food  diets are really healthy in the long-term. 

Take milk, for example. Whether milk is healthy or not is a fierce debate that has been raging on for decades. There are studies showing milk is healthy, given regular milk consumption could, for example, reduce the risk of colon cancer (R) (unfortunately, many studies are directly or indirectly funded by the dairy industry), while there are also many studies showing that milk is unhealthy, given it can increase the risk of prostate cancer (R) and Parkinson’s disease (R) and even increase mortality (R).

However, if you approach the milk discussion from an aging perspective, you can immediately see that milk is very likely unhealthy, especially in the long term, given that milk accelerates aging in many ways.

For example, milk contains substances that activate multiple powerful aging pathways, like mTOR, IGF, and insulin receptors. The more you activate these receptors, the faster you age. 

Milk also contains galactose, a substance researchers use to actually accelerate aging in their lab animals to study aging (R,R,R,R).

Also, milk is made by nature to make calves grow quickly. One prominent, red thread running through all aging research is that “accelerating growth” accelerates aging and increases the risk of multiple aging diseases, like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

Not to mention, a study that found that milk consumption (equivalent to about 7 glasses per day for only one week) could induce insulin resistance in eight-year-old boys – an outcome that did not result from the same amount of protein consumption in the form of animal protein (R).

Is high protein good or bad?

Another example are high-protein diets, like the classic paleo diet, Dukan or Atkins diet. Often, these diets result in substantial weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, lower triglycerides, and so on. 

However, these are all short-term effects. If you consider these diets from an aging (biogerontological) viewpoint, one can predict that these diets are very likely to accelerate aging in the long term.

For example, one very important mechanism that causes us to age is the accumulation of proteins inside and outside our cells, a process that also plays a role in various aging diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease or aging-related heart failure. Consuming lots of animal proteins accelerates this process. 

Activation of “nutrient-sensing pathways” in the cell by amino acids (like the mTOR receptor) accelerates aging. If you eat meat, you strongly activate these nutrient-sensing pathways (R,R,R,R,R,R,R,R,R,R,R,R,R,R). 

Giving various species (including humans) lots of animal protein shortens their lifespan and increases their risk of aging-related diseases.

Too much animal protein accelerates aging, as hundreds of scientific studies have shown (just as too much sugar and too many unhealthy fats also accelerate aging). 

What about the keto diet?

Another very popular diet is the ketogenic or keto diet. Like the Atkins diet, it is also a very low-carbohydrate diet (you eat few sugars and starches), but instead of lots of protein, you consume lots of fats. 

However, this is not ideal for the long term. Our bodies have difficulty in processing fats (after all, fats and our watery bodies don’t mix well together). Fats have the annoying tendency to stick everywhere in our body and are difficult to process and store. Many fats, especially long-chain saturated fats, can induce inflammation, for example by directly stimulating immune cells. Other common fats induce cellular senescence, or overburden the liver.

Nonetheless, some fats can be healthy, including even specific saturated fats (like butyric acid and caprylic acid). But it’s not that “most fats are healthy” and that you can eat large amounts of all fats ad libitum (like some keto diet gurus claim), or that most fats should be shunned (as many governments want you to believe). As you probably intuitively suspect, it’s more complicated than that!

Keto diets bring people into ketosis (because very few carbs are consumed), but they achieve this in a less-than-ideal manner. Ketosis is healthy, as long as it is reached by not eating excessive amounts of animal protein and fats. For example, by achieving ketosis with a fast.

The Mediterranean diet

Then there is the Mediterranean diet. This diet promotes the consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, white meat, and whole grains, and is the approximate diet of the longest lived people in the five Blue Zones across the world. It is also consistently shown in studies to be the healthiest of all diets, according to a variety of measures. So, among the most well-known diets, this is the one we would choose for longevity purposes. However, there are still ways in which it can be further improved, based on the latest research into human longevity.

Most diets are unhealthy, so here’s what you should do

The paleo diet, keto diet, and Mediterranean diet are a few examples of how insights into the aging process can help us to better assess diets for the long term. And from this perspective, most diets are less than ideal.

Based on insights into nutrition and aging, we created the “NOVOS Longevity Diet.” This diet aims to slow down aging and provide the best possible health outcomes for its followers. Weight loss and other health benefits will follow as a result. 

The NOVOS Longevity Diet consists of these simple rules:  

  1. Replace starches with more nutrient-dense foods. For example, eat much less bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice and replace them with vegetables (primarily), legumes, mushrooms or quinoa. Replace morning bread, for example, with oatmeal, chia seed, blended cauliflower, or chickpea porridge made with plant-based milk (e.g., coconut milk).

  2. Replace animal milk or yogurt with low-sugar, plant-based milk or yogurt (e.g., coconut or almond). Cheese and eggs are allowed in moderation. Curious why we don’t recommend milk for human longevity? Learn more here.

  3. Eat little or no red meat (beef, pork, and sheep) and more fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies, and sardines), poultry (chicken, turkey), mushrooms, tofu (miso, natto, tempeh), or mushroom-based or pea-based meat substitutes. Learn about why here.

  4. Drink lots of mineral water for proper hydration, several cups of green, white or chamomile tea per day, and one glass of freshly pressed fiber-rich vegetable smoothie. Coffee is good for you, too (up to 3 to 5 cups per day).

  5. Have a diverse diet of 30 or more natural ingredients. This can include vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, legumes, mushrooms, etc. Each type is a different ingredient (e.g., oyster mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms count as two ingredients). As the American Gut Project found, doing so will improve your overall health, microbiome, and even mood.

  6. Consume fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, natto, kombucha, etc. These foods will further improve your microbiome, which offers a multitude of benefits ranging from nutrient absorption from food, mood, overall health and longevity.

  7. Minimize your alcohol intake. Studies as recent as 2023 have shown that even the smallest intake of alcohol has a negative impact on health. If you are going to drink, try to keep it to one serving per day and have alcohol-free days.

  8. Take smart health supplements, such as selenium, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, B vitamins, magnesium malate, potassium and iodine – nutrients that are extremely difficult to get an adequate dosage of, even from the healthiest of diets. Also, take smart longevity supplements (that contain ingredients like alpha-ketoglutarate, fisetin, glycine, NMN, etc.), like NOVOS Core and NOVOS Boost.  

As you can see, this diet is not an “extreme” diet like so many others.

Nonetheless, the NOVOS longevity diet incorporates insights from these diets (like not drinking milk and consuming much fewer grains). 

But it does not agree with some of the other recommendations of these diets (like loading up on animal protein or fats, which is not healthy in the long term).

The best diet is one based on insights into aging, the fundamental causes of aging-related diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. 

You can download a poster of the NOVOS Longevity Diet here:

You can stick it on your refrigerator and email it to friends and family that you want to keep healthy!

Learn more about the anti-aging supplement NOVOS Core

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