The Longevity Diet – Dr Valter Longo (Book summary)

The Longevity Diet – Dr Valter Longo (Book summary)

What is the best diet for longevity? in this video, i tackle this question taking insight from the book i just finished reading, “The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science to Slow Aging, Fight Disease, and Manage Your Weight” by Dr Valter Longo. In this book, Valter explains how he uses the 5 pillars of longevity to build a diet that has the most potential to be beneficial for longevity, anti-aging and healthspan. So, in this video we will first take a look at the 5 pillars; basic research, epidemiology studies, clinical trials, centenarian studies and models of complex systems, and then look at the diet itself.

DISCLAIMER: This is me talking about a book I enjoyed reading. NOT advice….I’m not even a doctor!!

Other videos of mine you might enjoy:
The potential of fasting to delay aging –
Fasting mimicking diets (What & how) –
Low protein diet for longevity? –

Intro – 00:00
5 pillars – 01:00
The longevity diet – 15:00
Thoughts – 18:00

The Genetics of Aging: A Vertebrate Perspective –
The Ratio of Macronutrients… –
Low Protein Intake Is Associated.. –
Mattison, J., Roth, G., Beasley, T. et al. Impact of caloric restriction on health and survival in rhesus monkeys from the NIA study. Nature 489, 318–321 (2012).
Science 10 Jul 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5937, pp. 201-204
DOI: 10.1126/science.1173635

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Icons in intro; “”Background vector created by freepik –


  1. Trial studies are the factual science vs error laden epidemiology studies (subjects diet lifestyle memory) which are based on usually only the subjects memory or worse, their honesty

    The studies she’s talking about are using bs oils like corn oil as “fats” which is an inflammatory oil. She’s citing flawed studies.

    I’d unsubscribe from here she’s not even aware of my two problems with her “research”. She just likes to impress people with jargon, move on!

  2. Listening to this excellent vid, one problem i’m seeing is the effort to research aging across a broad sprectrum of individuals with various health concerns. Might it be wiser to focus on optimal diets for totally healthy persons already observing the obvious age enhancers such as exercise, non-smoking, etc.? Longo confuses waist circumference with the main event so that his actual helpful info seems to fail to exist..

  3. There’s a lot of confusion in the comments surrounding recommendations for protein intakes. People need to bear in mind TWO things:

    1. There’s a trade off between down-regulating MTOR (with less protein) in order to upregulate Sirtuins to improve longevity & healthspan, and up-regulating mTOR (with more protein) for high muscular performance.

    2. So there’s no right or wrong, it comes down to your priorities. Unfortunately we’re built such that high muscular performance is mutually exclusive with longevity/healthspan.

    In the absence of further science giving advice on how to manage this trade off, my priority is longevity/healthspan with performance second. This translates into me doing the following protocol:

    – Consuming 0.8g/kg protein per day or less on a ketogenic diet for 85% of the year.
    – Consuming 1.6g/kg protein per day on a ketogenic diet for 15% of the year with resistance training to grow muscle.

    My idea is to try and get the best of both worlds and I’m relying on ketosis to protect my new muscle growth once I reduce my protein intake or when I’m fasting.

    The theory I’m relying on is that ketogenic diets are muscle sparing, because BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate aka ketones) allows the brain to switch from high glucose to high ketones, which means in a fasted state the body can reduce the level of gluconeogenesis to feed the brain because it’s using BHB instead. Note: normally gluconeogenesis breaks down protein to produce glucose, so BHB is muscle protective by being glucose sparing.

    If you’re on a high-carb diet (e.g. Valter’s diet) then you’ll only get the protective effect of ketones when you’re fasting. Because your brain will be running mainly on glucose (when not fasting), whenever you get hungry your body will be breaking down muscle using gluconeogenesis to provide the brain with the glucose it needs. That’s one reason to stay away from Valter’s diet.

    The second reason is down regulating insulin signalling lengthens lifespan and healthspan, but this means eating less carbs yet Valter’s diet is HIGH-CARB…it’s deeply flawed IMO.

  4. Hmm protien intake depends on factors its being used for. if you are a body builder that IGF 1 is going to be used in the right places like for muscle growth and maintenance. Unfortunately protien is just too important and we bodybuilders need enough of it otherwise i notice muscle loss. IGF 1 does not cause cancer. Protien is important and we often don’t get enough and yet cancer rates are still high. Keto is a good start for longevity as sugar is the primary cause for disease

  5. This is all well and good, and consistent with the recommendations of the main nutrition experts for probably the last 3 decades at least, but in pragmatic terms, it’s very difficult for Americans to find even 30 minutes out of their day to organize such complex diets. Veggies, legumes, fish, unsaturated fats, whole grains — sure. But who has time in the mad rush of the world to focus on that at every meal? No one that I know. Further, I don’t enjoy cooking at all (and am terrible at it), nor do I enjoy going the to grocery store, and I don’t think I’m alone in that account. Vegetables spoil after a short period, making your need to spend more time planning and optimizing meals or making yet another trip to the grocery store which you don’t have time for a necessity.

    I’ve tried using companies which pack ready-made meals for active and busy lifestyles in the past (Freshly, Soylent, etc). These are supposed to optimize for healthy diets such as the one described in this book (basically the Mediterranean diet), but in my experience they’re still off the mark from it. The trouble is that vegetables spoil, and it’s difficult to ship meals with mostly vegetables in them, perhaps. Or maybe I’ve just missed the best companies who can do this, I don’t know. But it seems like, given the fact that almost every nutritionist (regardless of what they are preaching) seems to have a very specific set of foods which we need to eat and avoid, they would be wanting to make it as easy as possible for us to actually follow their recommendations.

    We don’t live on an island in huts with nothing better to do than harvest food and plan meals. We’re Americans — we work 70 hour weeks, have friends and family, and try new things in our spare time. Please, nutritionists, make this easy on us.

  6. 15:25 ‘Eat mostly vegan’. What would that entail? Insipid Inflammatory ‘vegetable’ oils over nourishing beef dripping and butter?

  7. Good review of the book but the end point is eat a Mediterranean diet, don’t be overweight, and practice some form of intermittent fasting. Sad to say but this will never work in the USA unless they make broccoli taste like french fry’s and Lima beans taste like pulled pork.

  8. Thanks for the great summary of the book!
    It’s really hard to know how to interpret some of this data. The typical conclusion from a study finding different diets associated with different longevities is that every difference in the inputs matters. But, maybe high consumption of olive oil is the only actual determinant, and the rest is irrelevant. Until someone does an RCT looking at a single factor, we won’t know. Or maybe two factors are synergistic, and you need BOTH low sugar AND olive oil , or maybe … there is some other explanation.
    Pretty sure we’ll still be trying to figure this out 30 years from now.

  9. Wonder if the low-protein high-carb suggestion has been tried before? We did that for years; it was called the Macrobiotic Diet. I do not recommend. The MD was 60 percent whole grains, 30 percent veggies, a bit of beans and, rarely, a bit of fish. It certainly makes one skinny. Many MD gurus came to a sticky end.

  10. Thank You, for your effort and data. Bravo to Dr. Longo who is born in my town Genova (in English Sampdoria :-), Italia.

  11. well building quality and natural muscle is also beneficial for longevity and for that you need protein. I lost around 135 pounds, built (some) muscle and reversed my fatty liver by using fasting (up to 4 days) and doing excercise and eating moderate protein. By this i tried to incoporate elemetns from both Valter Longos studies and the scientific consensus about building muscle/excercise

    While i see the advantages of a pescetarian diet, things like fermented dairy, grass fed red meat or free range eggs are also healthy in their regards consumed in moderate amounts and mice studies should be taken with a grain of salt.

  12. Fasting is the single most effective thing we can do to improve overall health, longevity, energy levels and body composition. Cellular repair can only be truly effective when in a non digesting state – Fasting -. …Fasting allows the body to reset itself at the cellular level and eliminate chronic sickness. Today’s medical and society in general attitude is always looking to add a magic supplement to improve health but when the body is sick it is basically saying i want nothing but to rest and repair. Over eating accelerates aging and sickness. No supplement in the world can truly replicate the complex mechanisms that fasting does in its repair of the body. Take home thought – its almost impossible to have any chronic disease if you fast on a regular basis…by that i mean either 1 meal a day with optimum nutrition or several days fast one or twice a month and eat food in it’s natural state meaning the whole food and not unprocessed man made junk food

  13. Thank you Sheekey for all of your research and your wonderful presentations. I am a 63 year old who strives for this kind of diet. Another thing I noticed is that all of the, "Blue Zone" areas appear to be near sea level. I’m guessing that may also be a factor since research has been recently released on the positive effects of high oxygen chambers in lengthening telomers. Be well and keep up the good work.

  14. Point 9 suggests that when you reach a healthy weight, you can stop this and eat whatever you want, but I don’t think that’s the idea, really.

  15. You cant say that…Red Meat from Factory Farming animals receive masses of chemistry so they dont die. Corn is a concentrated carbohydrate to make the animals fat quick. They receive antibiotics and other pharmacological chemistry because their diet is not what these animals evolved to eat and they get sick, really sick. If the animals were fed a natural Grass Fed Diet, they would not get sick. They would not be standing Knee Deep in their own Feces and Urine. All the study showed is "Eating mainly poisonous food, will make you sick"…Wow, really…who would have guessed.

  16. I don’t see how you can follow such a diet without being underweight. I’m not saying it wouldn’t work for longevity. Just that you’d have to be comfortable having the composition of a twig.

  17. When Longo launched this book the mTOR was demonized. Nowadays many longevity experts disagree with this idea. Many of them are eating a carnivore diet.
    Many people can’t tolerate well lots of vegetables and legumes.
    I really would like to see a debate between Longo and Paul Saladino/Mercola.

    Good job !

  18. How do they guard against observer bias? For instance, I understand the animal protein trials with regard to nutrient sensor stimulation, however IGF-1 is akin to insulin, and the mention of starchy carbs in the Okinawa diet proportions always raises an alarm with me because, as you included in your summary, it’s the absolute amount that is important. The University of Sydney 2014 insulin index demonstrates quite clearly that starchy carbs stimulate large amounts of insulin (and by implication, IGF-1).
    Also, this hate of saturated fat has gone on long enough. Our body produces fat as about 3:2 monounsaturated to saturated. This is likely to be the ideal fat consumption, with only 3% EFAs.

  19. The blue zones are places where records are terribly kept. Some of them have high smoking rates and many other things that cal into question their claims about human longevity there. Anyone using data from those is being naive.

  20. So these kind of videos take me AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGESSSSSS to make, so would make my day if you like, share, etc!! 😀 And what do you think…do you follow any diet?

  21. Many thanks for this excellent book review. Since this book is over 3 yrs old, thanks for you summarizing recent literature.

  22. Wow so little protein, so exercise is not a part of the equation I guess 🙂 .. Current "standard" for building a maintaining muscle is around 0.8-1g per pound of body weight. I guess you have to choose between living long or living in the good shape.

  23. great video! I am on a binge marathon lol. how do you know if certain foods could cuase auto – immune response. like red onions in your case

  24. The stuffy sounding, nasally and thick accent of the narrator is quite a barrier to hearing the important information well. Quite a challenge to listen to that voice. Good summary, but speaker should work on a clean delivery or should use a narrator with a clear, crisp, well enunciating voice.

  25. This diet makes no sense!!! There are three main goals to increase longevity:

    1. Decreasing insulin signalling by decreasing carbs/sugar.

    2. Decreasing IGF-1/MTOR signalling by decreasing protein

    3. Increasing autophagy pathways by up regulating both AMP Kinase & Protein deacetylation by fasting i.e. fat restriction when combined with (1) & (2).

    When not fasting, then a high-fat low-carb diet will produce beta-hydroxybutyrate that is a Class 1 HDAC inhibitor, which will up-regulate FOXO3 (a master-regulator of longevity).

    If correct, then the above diet pretty much looks like a low-carb high-fat ketogenic diet with occasional fasting to boost autophagy.

    But Valter’s diet is HIGH-CARB, which will up-regulate insulin signalling which is associated with ageing.

    Worse than this, glucose is implicated in in-vivo advance glycation end-product formation with various proteins causing metabolic syndrome e.g. Glycating the apo-b100 protein on LDL as part of atherosclerosis, glycating amyloid proteins in the brain causing Alzheimer’s, glycating proteins in the lens causing cataracts, etc etc.

    It looks like he’s based the diet on the Blue Zones, which I’m sure is healthy, but is surely 2nd best to a ketogenic diet with fasting for reasons explained above?

  26. so high protein is bad? but muscles are good but they consist of protein? and healthy foods like nuts or legumes have much protein?

  27. I tried to make my own diet, but it didn’t work. I went to *Agoge Diet* and let them create diet plan for me. I am delighted with the result

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