Which Diet (way of eating) Is Best for Health and Longevity?

Which Diet (way of eating) Is Best for Health and Longevity?

Proper diet undoubtedly promotes healthier aging and longevity. But what’s the right diet? A meta-analysis of diet studies proposes an answer. or more accurately, answers, based on diet-related biomarkers linked to disease and aging. Half of the studies were done in Europe, the rest from North America and Asia. The February, 2023, article was published in Nutrients. You can read the entire article online.

“….the main goal of this systematic review was to perceive the quantity and quality of different diets or aspects in nutrition, how they could modulate biomarkers and prevent aging-related diseases, in order to enlighten new intervention strategies. Biomarkers that are linked to aging-associated metabolism, inflammation processes, cognitive decline, and telomere attrition were scrutinized in order to understand how these mechanisms could actually influence healthy aging. Moreover, it could provide information to future health professionals.”

The researchers conclusions:

“In conclusion, this systematic review demonstrated the necessity for individuals to improve their diets, to reduce the emergence and development of several comorbidities and promote healthy aging. Diets rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, fiber, fish, unsaturated fats, containing antioxidants, vitamins, potassium, omega-3—and reducing red meat and ultra-processed food intake—could prevent obesity, CVD [cardiovascular disease], and inflammation, and promote favorable glycemic, insulinemic, and lipidemic responses. Moreover, the Mediterranean diet and ketogenic diet, or a combination of these diets (MMKD), and increasing consumption of vegetables and green tea catechins, could improve one’s working memory and decrease destabilization of the brain network and the attention domain, preventing cognitive decline. Finally, the Mediterranean diet, supplemented with CoQ or virgin olive oil, or a low-fat diet, also rich in antioxidants, can help reduce the prevalence of atherothrombosis [arterial blood clots], hepatic steatosis, diabetes, and telomere attrition, as well as preventing oxidative and DNA damage. These diets can improve one’s quality of life and increase life expectancy. Moreover, a putative panel of molecular markers would follow the impact of diet/nutrition alterations during aging.”

The biomarkers tested included C-reactive protein, telomere length, HOMA-IR (insulin resistance), cholesterols, fibrinogen, platelet activating factor acetylhydrolase in HDLs, glucose, white blood cells, apolipoproteins, adiponectin, leptin, visceral adiposity index, etc.

Diets mentioned in the article include DASH, modified Alternative Healthy Eating Index, Southern European Atlantic (SEAD), Baltic Sea (a Nordic alternative to the Mediterranean diet), Mediterranean, and ketogenic Mediterranean.

This article is pretty dense reading. For science nerds only!

I was gratified to see several mentions of the ketogenic Mediterranean diet. It deserves more attention from the general public.

Steve Parker, M.D

PS: If you have my Advanced Mediterranean Diet (2nd edition), you already have the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet. It’s there in addition to the traditional Mediterranean diet.

front cover of KMD: ketogenic mediterranean diet
front cover of Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes