How to Follow the Longevity Diet
Longevity Diet Guidelines:
The Longevity Diet is the culmination of research from Dr. Valter Longo, Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California. Dr. Longo has studied the regions that hold the highest number of centenarians- the oldest yet healthiest individuals around the world. Their diets, habits, and traditions within their communities are the foundation of The Longevity Diet. Despite the name, The Longevity “Diet” is a lifestyle that focuses on prioritizing fresh produce, complex carbohydrates, whole grains, and plant-protein sources.
The Longevity Diet has many guidelines that include nutrients to improve healthspan and meeting dietary requirements. These guidelines include generous amounts of fruits and vegetables with at least 6 servings daily from non-starchy vegetables, including plant based protein sources and animal based protein sources high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, and prioritizing healthy fat sources high in polyphenols such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts which make up less than 30% of daily calories from fat.
Make Half of Your Plate Fruits and Veggies:
Research shows that consuming at least six servings of fruits and vegetables daily may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Focus on making half of your plate fruit and non-starchy vegetables. Include produce with colors across the rainbow to incorporate a variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Anything from pungent reds to bright purples will provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, helping to reduce your risk of chronic disease.
Additionally, incorporating more vegetables into your diet can increase your fiber intake, which is essential for digestive health. Vegetables are naturally low in calories, allowing you to load up your plate without going overboard. So, fill up your plate with fruits and vegetables and enjoy the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet!
Complex carbohydrates are an important part of the Longevity Diet. This includes whole grains which contain dietary fiber, iron, and B vitamins. The soluble and insoluble fiber in whole grains aids with glycemic control and supports a healthy microbiome by providing prebiotic fiber.
Including a consistent amount of complex carbohydrates at each meal can also aid with blood sugar control and weight management, especially for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes. N4L meal kits have pre-portioned macronutrients to ensure your carbohydrate consumption is in line with the guidelines set forth by the USDA, American Diabetes Association, and The Longevity Diet.
The Longevity Diet emphasizes a predominantly plant-based diet including whole food plant-based proteins such as beans, chickpeas, green peas, and other legumes as your main source of protein. Also incorporating fatty fish such as salmon, cod, trout, and shrimp twice a week will increase your consumption of omega-3, omega-6, and vitamin B12 which is important for cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation in the body. For those who are 65 years or older, it is important to increase protein intake slightly in order to maintain muscle mass and stay strong.
High Polyphenol Fats:
Fat is a critical component of our diet as our bodies need it for energy, vitamin absorption, and protection for the heart and brain. The Longevity Diet suggests consuming less than 30% of your daily calories from healthy fat sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and oils. In addition to providing essential fatty acids, these sources also contain polyphenols that support cognitive function and cardiovascular health. Olive oil, in particular, is a fantastic addition to your diet with a variety of health benefits. Check out our blog to learn more about how olive oil can improve your overall well-being.
N4L is inspired by research on The Longevity Diet. If you do not already receive Nutrition For Longevity Meal Kits, order here!
- Explore the MyPlate Food Groups. U.S Department of Agriculture. https://www.myplate.gov/. Accessed March 29th, 2021.
- Longevity Diet for Adults. Professor Valter Longo Website. Published 2019. Accessed on March 29th, 2021.
- Valter, L. The Longevity Diet. New York, NY: Penguin House LLC; 2018.