Dietary Approaches that Delay Age-Related Diseases

Vegetarians are reported to have a lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease  and have a reduced all-cause mortality.

there is convincing evidence that the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases is reduced by linoleic acid, fish and fish oils, vegetables and fruits, potassium, and low to moderate alcohol intake plus regular physical activity.

The Mediterranean diet, despite having a high lipid content, protects against the chronic diseases of old age, especially heart disease

The Okinawan diet

The Okinawan people living on islands south of Tokyo are reported to live longer than any other population on earth. They are smaller in body size, eat 40% fewer calories than the Americans and live 4 years longer due mainly to their lower mortality from heart disease and cancer

The greater longevity of older Okinawans is only partly due to reduced energy intake and different composition of diet, as there are also differences in the level of exercise and philosophy of life

Studies in the Ames dwarf mouse with a gene mutation that leads to low pituitary growth hormone production indicate that reduced function of the growth hormone–IGF-1 axis retards aging changes, prevents age-related pathology, and prolongs life in the mouse in a similar manner to CR. In humans, raised levels of IGF-1 are seen in many cancers. However, low levels of IGF-1 may be risk factors for cardiovascular disease  and type 2 diabetes

delayed onset of aging diseases may best be achieved by establishing a healthy lifestyle in early life as in childhood or in the young adult. A healthy lifestyle includes regular physical exercise, not smoking, a happy relaxed mind, and a nutrient-rich low-calorie diet to maintain a moderately lean body weight. Such a diet would include wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables, with a low intake of saturated fat and trans fatty acids. Energy intake, which in excess leads to overweight, appears to be the major dietary factor determining the onset of age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia, and therefore lifespan. The composition of the diet is also important, since there is good evidence that a vegetarian diet (rich in antioxidants), the Mediterranean diet (high in olive oil with monounsaturated fatty acids), and the Okinawan diet (high in fruits and vegetables plus omega-3 fatty acids in fish) are beneficial by delaying age-associated diseases. Lowering fat intake to less than 10% of caloric intake, appears to be important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The development of osteoporotic fractures may be prevented by increasing the intake of calcium, vitamin D, and probably folate.

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