How to Live Longer and Age Better: Dr. Valter Longo on the Science of Longevity in National Geographic

How to Live Longer and Age Better: Dr. Valter Longo on the Science of Longevity in National Geographic

As a society we have long been fixated on what we eat and how that affects our overall health, and neglecting the importance of when we eat. The truth is, fasting has long been a part of human history, and the health benefits are undeniable. In Dr. Valter Longo’s recent feature in National Geographic, he cleverly outline’s today’s fasting mania, diving into the plentiful benefits associated with his trademarked fasting-mimicking diet (FMD).

The History of Intermittent Fasting - It Goes Way Back

Throughout the tapestry of history, fasting has been woven into cultural, spiritual, and health practices. From ancient civilizations incorporating fasting in religious rituals to philosophers extolling its virtues, humans have recognized the profound impact of abstaining from food. 

So what exactly is intermittent fasting? The definition varies widely, from hours during the day, to on and off days, to several consecutive days. After all, according to Dr. Longo, “Fasting is just a word, like eating. You have to move into exactly what type of fasting works and why.”

A Quest for Longevity and Revitalization

Discovering the incredible power of the body's innate healing abilities has been Dr. Longo's passion since his early days as a young, enthusiastic researcher. Instead of resigning to the challenge of convincing everyone to endure a five-day fast, Dr. Longo decided to spice things up a bit. Enter the fasting-mimicking diet (FMD), his brainchild after years of research and in depth scientific exploration.

Picture this: Dr. Longo, armed with a quest to defy aging and keep illnesses at bay, embarked on a journey to find the perfect balance. The result? A program that gives you all the perks of a traditional fast without the need to avoid food altogether. Think of it as a fast-track to health without the problems associated with water fasting— giving you a safer and easier experience on your mission to feel fantastic and rejuvenate your cells.


Help Your Body Help You

A fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) works largely by strengthening the body’s ability to “activate blood stem cells, which strengthen the body’s ability to produce infection-fighting white blood cells”, according to Dr. Longo. The FMD also starts an internal process called autophagy, where our body recycles old or damaged cells with newer, better functioning ones. This leads to improved energy levels, mental clarity, and reduced biological age. 

Additionally, in clinical trials, “Longo found that FMD essentially reprograms metabolism, which the modern Western diet has thrown out of wack.” Why is this so important? 

As a society we have swayed away from the path of traditional and healthier eating, and our collective health outcomes have taken a hit. In the United States alone, a staggering 40% of premature deaths can be traced back to lifestyle choices, making Dr. Longo’s mission of education around the rejuvenating FMD is all the more crucial in our modern composition.

It’s Never Too Late

The bottom line: Dr. Longo’s FMD really works, is backed by research, and the results are nothing short of remarkable. In fact, researchers estimate that a 20-year-old who cuts out white bread, hamburgers, hot dogs and other staples of the Western diet and exchanges these habits for eating beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, fruits and veggies can extend their lifespan by 13 years. This isn't just about extending years; it's a transformative journey toward improved health, shaping a vibrant future for generations to come.