Want Healthy Longevity? Start With the Basics of Health

  • by Nils Osmar. May 23, 2024
  • This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. 
  • See full Medical Disclaimer

One founding principle for me is that if something is necessary for human health (such as healthy fats (in particular omega 3s); a high nutrient diet; clean air; clean water; exercise), it’s by definition also a prerequisite for healthy longevity.

Any approach that restricts the basics, such as diets that are predicated on eating very low fat or very low protein, should be suspect.

Supplements can be great, but they’re an adjunct, not a substitute. Popping a pill is not a substitute for obtaining all of the nutrients needed for brain health, heart health and maintenance of strong muscles from our diets.

I’m not saying that doing things to stay healthy and fit will get us past the maximum human lifespan; other interventions will be necessary for that; but that they are the prerequisites we need to start from. It’s elementary that we can’t deny our bodies the things that are needed for health, if our goal is longevity. We need to start with them, then add things that can add additional years.

What brings this to mind is that now and then I’ll see a post online in a health or longevity group, along the lines of “I’m having all kinds of health problems… I don’t know what could be causing them… oh, by the way, I’m on a diet in which we avoid all fat, but I’m sure that’s not causing it… is there a supplement I can take to feel better?” – or, “I’m on a longevity diet where I eat almost no protein; I’m losing weight which is great; I have headaches all the time and my hair is falling out; no idea what’s wrong. Should I take zinc?”

Ah, no – in both cases – you should start with a diet that provides the nutrients you need for basic health. Rhonda Patrick’s nutritional guidelines are a good place to start. Otherwise, you’re like an anorexic or bullimic, doing harm to yourself with your diet and wondering why you feel so awful, while looking for a pill to make you better. We need to start with basic, healthy, nutritious food, and doing what we can to optimize sleep and exercise, before looking for supplements to “cure” us or extend our lives.

Not medical advice

This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplement(s), just reporting on what I’m doing. Supplements, like medications and other interventions, can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen, and consult with a medical professional about any issues which might have a medical component.  See full Medical Disclaimer

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