We always give preference to the kind of food people eat have an impact on long life expectancy, but the recent studies have suggested that eating at certain times of the day grants the most life-boosting benefits.
❍ Diet for Long life expectancy
No doubt long life expectancy can be attributed through a person’s diet – a balanced diet has been proven to improve longevity provided the food consumed is healthy. Professionals recommend the healthy diet of a person should include, eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day, foundation meals on higher starchy foods like bread, potatoes, and rice, having dairy products, eating some protein, choosing unsaturated oils and spreads, and drinking plenty of fluids.
But the new research, published this week, has recommended that the most benefits for long life expectancy depend on the number of times a person eats.
A professor of neuroscience, Dr. Mark Mattson, at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, in the US, has said: “discontinuous fasting could be part of a healthy lifestyle.”
In between the continuous eating, keeping fast in between diets also helps one in keeping healthy. Say if one skips breakfast and goes directly for lunch will benefit one towards a good life.
For long life expectancy fasting can be categorized into two; one follows daily time-restricted feeding and the other one being the 5:2 intermittent fasting. Daily-restricted fasting generally constricted the eating to six-eight hours in a day and in 5:2 fasting, people cut down their meals to just two moderate-sized meals each week.
A wide range of human and animal studies have shown that for long life expectancy, if one alternates between times of fasting and eating then this supports our cellular health, probably by following the primitive method to keep self-active called metabolic switching in which cells are harmonized to realize the food scarcity.
This process starts converting fat into energy with a slower metabolic process. This switch helps in improving blood sugar regulation, increases resistance to stress and suppresses inflammation. Fasting also maintains blood pressure, blood lipid levels, and normal heart rates.
Americans usually do not follow the switch metabolism process; they usually eat three meals plus snacks each day. Scientists experimented on 48,188 people whom they followed for an average of 18.1 years.
People who had an average age of 45 years at the start of the experiment had no history of ischemic heart disease or stroke.
❍ They were subjected to one of three groups:
- Non-Vegetarians – people who reported eating meat
- Pescatarians – those who ate fish but no meat
- Vegetarians – people who didn’t eat meat or fish
The researchers assessed their overall food intake and nutrient levels through food questionnaires and also measured the body mass index (BMI), height and management of blood pressure.
During the 18.1 years of follow-up, 2,820 people suffered from ischemic heart disease and 1,072 people with stroke.
After adjusting the lifestyle factors, the studies revealed both positive and negative relationships between cardiovascular health and reduced meat intake.
The rate of ischemic heart disease among fish-eating people was 13 percent lower than that of meat-eaters, while vegetarians had a rate that was 22 percent lower. So, a vegetarian diet is the best diet.