Aging

3 Ways Eating Fat Increases Longevity

burger with friesClear your mind of “fat-free”, “low-fat” eating and you will live a long healthy life. It is not easy to overcome the low-fat brainwashing we have endured over all these years but it is a necessity for optimal weight, wellness and longevity.

Understanding the causative link between insulin and aging, metabolic health risk factors and weight and their connection with carbohydrates is a much more solid theory utilize than the eat less fat and calories and lose weight for weight loss and better health theory. The calorie theory is a simple math equation that when applied on a piece of paper: weight loss equals fewer calories consumed and more calories burned, seems logical. But, the math is too simplistic for it to hold much value in a complex body system for every unique individual with consideration to a variety of different environmental factors.

Food is in fact a fuel that has so much more value than just providing calories. The value food brings to us goes way beyond the calorie: hormonal fluctuations, cellular damage or regeneration, gut flora, muscle growth and much more. Therefore, what you put in your mouth has a profound effect on muscle, appetite, digestion, hormones, mental focus and most importantly on quality of life and this is brought to another level as every nutrient is effected by its capacity to be metabolized and absorbed. Food is essential to life and body function, not just providing energy through calories, fat, protein and carbohydrates.

According to Dr. Mercola, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/02/ketogenic-diet-health-benefits.aspx, after all these years of shunning fat and the creation of fat phobia, we are learning that fat may work to improve aging markers and extend life through:

  1. Genetics:” In a report published in the August 2013 issue of Cell Reports, scientists discovered that the “mTOR gene” is a significant regulator of the aging process that includesinsulin signaling, cellular metabolism and energy balance —in mice.”
  1. Clinical aging markers: for heart health, appetite regulation and weight.

Markers of aging were monitored after volunteers consumed a high fat, low carbohydrate diet in 2010. “Serum leptin decreased by an average of eight percent, insulin by 48 percent, fasting glucose by 40 percent, triglycerides by nearly eight percent, and free T3 (thyroid hormone) by almost six percent.”

“In fact there is a video of Dr. Peter Attia (a Stanford University trained physician) who used a ketogenic diet to help improve his own health despite a” healthy” lifestyle (what he thought was “eating healthy” and consistent physical activity). For 10 years (long term results), Attia followed an extreme ketogenic diet, 80 percent of his calories came from fat which included lots of coconut oil, grass-pastured butter, organic pastured eggs, avocado, and raw nuts; moderate amounts of protein and only 5 grams of sugar a day. His approach, proved that a ketogenic diet can make profound improvements in health risk factors, see the chart below.” An MRI also confirmed that he had lost both body fat and visceral fat (fat found around internal organs associated with greater health risks).”

BEFORE AFTER
Fasting blood sugar 100 75-95
Percentage body fat 25 10
Waist circumference in inches 40 31
Blood pressure 130/85 110/70
LDL 113 88
HDL 31 67
Triglycerides 152 22
Insulin sensitivity Increased by more than 400 percent
  1. Calorie Reduction:

Yes, research has shown that calorie restricted starvation diets can act as an anti-aging strategy by lowering oxidative stress, and insulin levels. High insulin levels contribute to health conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and accelerated aging. The problem with restricting calories is that there is inadequate fuel to nourish your body and it is difficult to function when all you can think about is the food you cannot eat.

Interestingly enough, high fat ketogenic diets can result in the same benefits without having to starve. Lowering carbs to 30-50 grams (fakes the body into thinking it is starving when in fact it is being nourished with nutrient dense foods) will lower insulin and produce similar effects on health markers to help slow down the aging process and improve health.

Afraid to eat fat? I hope not after reading this information. Do you want to improve your quality of life? Eat fat because it does not affect hormones or health in a negative way and will help keep your appetite controlled while supporting an anti-aging process. Eat fat! Foods that are high in fat like steak, lamb, seeds/nuts, avocado, butter, coconut etc…because it tastes good, helps to lower insulin and will help provide greater longevity.

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About the author

Valerie Goldstein

Valerie raises the bar for health and nutrition know how with unconventional expertise and unconditional support for wellness.

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