Can you live to 130? Longevity scientist believes it’s possible with the right diet

Recent discussions in longevity research suggest that avoiding certain foods may be the key to extending lifespan [1].

Speaking to the New York Times, the Italian-American biogerontologist and cell biologist Valter Longo highlights the significance of steering clear of what he terms the “Poisonous Five P’s “: pizza, pasta, protein, potatoes and pane (bread).

These everyday dietary staples are believed to contribute to various health issues, potentially accelerating the aging process and reducing overall lifespan.

Pizza and pasta, often high in refined carbohydrates and processed ingredients, have been associated with weight gain, inflammation and increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease [2].

Protein, while essential for health, can become problematic when consumed excessively or in the form of processed meats. High animal-based protein intake has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

Potatoes, particularly when prepared in fried or processed forms, can contribute to weight gain and metabolic issues due to their high starch content and association with unhealthy cooking methods [3].

Similarly, pane (bread), especially when made from refined flour, lacks essential nutrients and may spike blood sugar levels, contributing to insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction over time.

By avoiding these dietary culprits, supporters suggest that individuals reduce the adverse health effects and extend their lifespan.

While living to 130 may seem ambitious, proponents of this approach remain optimistic, emphasizing the importance of dietary choices in shaping overall health and longevity.

Critics, however, caution against oversimplifying the complexities of aging and longevity. While minimizing intake of these “Poisonous Five P’s” may offer health benefits, they stress the need for a balanced and varied diet and consideration of other factors such as genetics, lifestyle and environmental influences [4].

However, the discourse surrounding the role of diet in aging has sparked essential conversations and prompted individuals to reconsider their dietary habits.

While living to 130 may remain aspirational, the focus on avoiding the Poisonous Five P’s underscores the importance of mindful dietary choices in promoting longevity and healthy aging.

Photograph: Iakobchuk/Envato

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/25/world/europe/italy-aging-valter-longo.html
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6146358/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6267054/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071223/

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