Today’s Lunch for Longevity

  • by Nils Osmar. June 15, 2024
  • This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. 
  • See full Medical Disclaimer

Contrary to what many online articles and Youtube bloggers maintain, there’s no universal agreement about what constitutes an ideal optimal when it comes to longevity.

Some people maintain that vegan or vegetarian diets are the best approach for people who want to live long, healthy lifespans (and best for the environment).

Others counter that carnivore diets are “the natural human diet”, and that meat (like other foods) can be grown regeneratively, and claim that an all-meat diet is superior because it’s free of the pesticides that plants produce to protect themselves from being eaten by insects and animals.

My adventures with veganism…

I’ve tried both diets (as well as many others), but neither worked well for me in the long run. I ate a strictly vegan diet for three years, during which time I ate no animal-sourced foods of any kind. It seemed fine at first, but as the years went by, I developed severe mood and memory problems, poor sex drive, poor eyesight, aching teeth and flabby, sagging muscles. I was assured by vegan “experts” that the problem was that I “wasn’t doing it right” — but their recommendations were contradictory and bordered on the absurd. (“Take more supplements! No, take fewer supplements! Eat more soy! No, eat less soy! Eat only bananas! Eat only salads! Eat only fruit!” and other silliness.) I gave up when I saw that both the physical and mental health of the vegan “experts” who had been advising me was also going downhill. Adding meat, dairy, fish, poultry and eggs back into my diet resolved all of these problems virtually overnight.

…. and carnivory

I later tried a 100% carnivore diet (only meat, fish, poultry and eggs… no plant-sourced foods at all). It was very high in nutrients, and by nature ketogenic. Eating this way improved my health and energy and helped me lose some excess body fat, but I found it boring and difficult to maintain long-range, and was not convinced that it was beneficial to avoid foods like berries and avocados, which hundreds of studies have found to be associated with better cognitive health and slower aging.

My omnivorous (but largely animal-based) diet

I’m currently following a diet that is animal-based but also includes foods like berries, avocados, olives, and a variety of other fruit, as well as mushrooms.

While on this diet, Aging.ai, a calculator which correlates well with the GrimAge epigenetic tests, estimated my biological age as being around 30 years younger than my biological age, and PhenoAge, 8-10 years younger. So I’m not at all concerned that including meat in my diet is making me “age faster.” All of the evidence suggests the opposite. But my results also suggest that it’s 100% fine to include some plant-based foods along with the meat from various animals. We don’t have to be dietary purists or extremists to live long, healthy lives.

Today’s lunch

Here’s what I had for lunch today and why. All of the ingredients are organic and most are locally sourced.

  1. 1/2 pound grass-fed beef, prepared over low heat as a stir-fry (rich in all of the essential amino acids, including leucine, which supports muscle protein synthesis) (I’m 71, and there’s strong evidence that as we age, we need a bolus of protein in each meal to counter anabolic resistance; this gives me about 40 grams of protein, enough to cross the anabolic threshold)
  2. 2 cups of Romaine lettuce, chopped – rich in nitrates that our bodies convert into nitric oxide, which is antibacterial, helps improve circulation, and supports sexual function (about 3 cups, chopped)
  3. 1 tbsp raw organic olive oil (rich in oleic acid, a sirtuin activator)
  4. 10 fresh olives (ditto)
  5. 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (helps lower blood glucose)
  6. 1/3 cup chopped onion (rich in sulfur, which helps remove mercury and lead from the body)
  7. 6 cherry tomatoes (rich in lypocene, which helps protect your body against prostate cancer and heart disease)
  8. Salted to taste with Redmond Realsalt (not an evaporated sea salt, but mined, so free of microplastics that are found in most sea salts)
  9. Oyster mushrooms – rich in spermidine

Was this a plant-based or animal based meal?

  • Neither actually. It was an omnivorous meal.
  • Based on volume it was mostly plant-based.
  • Based on the content of protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, it was mostly animal-based.
  • In my opinion, rather than obsessing about whether our meals are plant or animal based, we should focus on eating real food. Processed food, whether it’s from plant or animal sources, does not belong on anyone’s plates.
  • I avoid “impossible burgers”, for example, because the supposedly healthy ingredients in them are toxic, highly processed, full of microplastic, sprayed with pesticides, have a tiny fraction of the nutrients found in “real food” and increase heart disease… see this article )

“But isn’t meat bad for us – and bad for the Earth?”

  • It’s common for people to claim that it’s bad for human health, but I have not seen any convincing evidence that this is the case. (A million people all repeating the same mantra doesn’t make that mantra the truth.)
  • A 2022 study published in the International Journal of General Medicine found a positive correlation between meat consumption and life expectancy in over 170 countries. This correlation remained significant when factors such as caloric intake, obesity and education, were controlled for.
  • Re: the environmental impact of eating meat, sheep and cattle (like other food sources) can be raised in ways that are good, or bad, for the environment. I buy from small local farms which practice regenerative agriculture to support environmental health.

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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