In order to age healthily – or even rejuvenate your body – you need to pay attention to your diet. Nina Ruge reveals what is important.

What is the Mediterranean diet all about? It’s best to start with the expert who shakes up the foundations of what has been recommended so far, and that is Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California.

In 2018, he became an international bestseller with his book “Eat yourself young: Scientifically proven nutrition for a healthy and long life – the Longevità diet”. And he believes that we generally underestimate the importance of nutrition in healthy aging, saying: “Nutrition will probably be one of the most important things in the next 20 or 30 years, the most important factor in human health.” However, an abundance of diet trends and contradictory recommendations and inadmissible simplifications would confuse people. Low carb, high carb – these are media-controlled fads. Every day we are flooded with nutritional tips about foods that contain little or a lot of carbohydrates or that have a low or high fat content But that is not the point of a longevity diet at all.

Nina Ruge is a qualified biologist. She started her over 30-year television career in 1987 at RIAS TV in Berlin. Stations: “heute journal”, “heute Nacht” and “People Today” on ZDF, talk shows and magazines on ARD, Phoenix and 3sat were added. Today she is a specialist author in the field of “cell biology of aging”. Since 2020 she has written four popular science books on this topic, all four of which have been ordered. “Aging can be cured” is her first work, followed by “Rejuvenation is Possible”, “The Rejuvenation Cookbook” and “The Rejuvenation Plan”. She also writes columns, produces podcasts such as “The Short Podcast for a Long Life – Zwegen to the power of two”, gives lectures and develops her own channels on the gigantic research field of “Healthy Longevity”.

“Rejuvenation is possible: Scientifically researched – what really helps” by Nina Ruge and Dominik doucher

What matters most is which fats we eat or which carbohydrates. And that’s why it’s worth taking a close look at the diet of people in the Blue Zones, i.e. the places where an above-average number of people live to be over a hundred years old:

belong to.

What conclusions could Valter Longo draw from the diet of these people, who after all live on different continents – apparently none of them in industrial and affluent societies? Let’s start with the amount of protein we should consume daily. Some people are surprised, because Longo is not a fan of high-protein diets. For 18 years, he and his team observed thousands of people for an epidemiological study of proteins. One group had eaten a lot of protein-rich food, the other had not.

The result: People under 65 developed significantly fewer cancers if they ate little protein than those who ate a lot of protein. However, from the age of 65, this effect was reversed. Now the risk of developing cancer decreased. In addition, a number of studies on low-carb diets, in which carbohydrates are largely avoided and foods containing protein and fat are consumed (ketogenic diets), have shown that they are “extremely harmful to health”. Blue Zone longevity records have nothing to do with such diets.

So, what should we learn from the diet of healthy centenarians in the Blue Zones? Valter Longo’s Longevità diet incorporates his research work of over 30 years: