These days, we hear a lot about fasting. Intermittent fasting, time-restricted eating, and water fasting are just some of the many terms being thrown around in support of better health.
And we can’t forget about the high-fat, ketogenic, and low-carb approaches that are gaining in popularity as well. Which one is best? What does it all mean for our longevity, brain health, and overall wellness?
My guest on this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy is here to sift through the terminology and confusion around fasting. Dr. Valter Longo is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of aging studies and related diseases. Known as a “Guru of Longevity,” Dr. Longo is currently Professor of Biogerontology and Biological Sciences and Director of the Institute of Longevity of the School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, as well as Director of the Oncology and Longevity Program at IFOM in Milan. He is also the Scientific Director of the Create Cures Foundation and the Valter Longo Foundation.
Valter is the author of an extraordinary new book, The Longevity Diet. The culmination of 25 years of research on aging, nutrition, and disease across the globe, it provides an easy-to-understand, accessible and implementable road map to living well longer through improved nutrition.
Food has an amazing ability to heal, but the timing of when we eat or abstain from eating can also have really amazing impacts on our health. Dr. Longo and I dive into the popular and complex topic of fasting. Valter’s research and development of the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), a diet that helps you feel fed and nourished without completely starving the body, has been found to support anti-inflammatory gut bacteria and support the mechanisms that lead to better aging. Valter breaks down the physiological reasons why and how FMD measures up to other practices, like water fasting which can actually create leaky gut.
Autoimmunity, gut issues, Alzheimer’s, and aging have all been found to benefit from the right kind of fasting. Short-term fasting specifically goes after visceral fat—the belly fat leading to inflammation and chronic diseases—providing a huge metabolic boost on a cellular level. Dr. Longo explains how this can be incorporated into a balanced diet and shares his opinions on why the trend of intermittent fasting needs to be more detailed for better outcomes.
We also dive into the ketogenic diet, Valter’s take on macronutrient ranges for longevity, the topic of good versus bad carbs, stem cells, and so much more. This episode is overflowing with valuable information on how to time your meals for a longer, healthier life.
I hope you’ll tune in.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD